Virtual Book Club: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Welcome to the second ever PAPER/PLATES book club meeting! Join in the discussion by leaving comments below this post. This time around, we're discussing Neil Gaiman's latest novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The first book for adults from Gaiman since 2005's Anansi BoysOcean is a middle-aged man's flashback to the horrors and adventures of his childhood. The story is practically believable despite the truly mystical and fantastical events that dance across its pages. It is an exploration of childhood, fear and friendship, among other things, that will make you question and perhaps even confront the things that intimidate you.

Let's discuss The Ocean at the End of the lane in the comments. 

Discussion questions
(Warning: spoilers! If you haven’t read The Ocean at the End of the Lane yet, buy your copy here.)

- Did you like this story? Why or why not?

- Gaiman describes this as a book for adults. What sets it apart from novels for young adults?

- What were some of the most compelling themes and motifs?

- What role did names play in this novel? Why did the reader never learn the narrator's name?

- How did this novel comment on age?

- How literally did you take the novel (i.e. the hole in his foot)?

- What role did money play?

- Which character did you like the most, and why?

- Did you find the villain scarier in her human or non-human form?

- What does this novel say about memories — their value and their trustworthiness?

These are just some questions to get you started. Feel free to add your own in the comments! As always, this discussion will be as good as we make it, so please don't hold back in your opinions.