Mis arrebatadores, he tenido la suerte de participar en el tour de THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE (El océano al final del camino), de Neil Gaiman, porque así he probado la imaginación cautivadora de este escritor. No decepciona.
Puede que sea pequeño en tamaño y la narración produzca una sensación hogareña. Sin embargo, es toda una aventura de emociones profundas.
Lo que comienza como una historia intimista de un niño reservado en un pueblo, con granjas y problemas económicos, se convierte paulatinamente en un cuento de terror. Me he sentido partícipe, siendo yo también ese niño que se deja llevar por sus vecinos inusuales, que afronta las maravillas sobrenaturales con aceptación, que lucha con sus diminutas fuerzas físicas y sus campeonas fuerzas mentales contra un monstruo intangible, imbatible, que poco a poco devora la realidad.
Me ha fascinado esa cualidad del texto. Empieza con cosas familiares, simples, dulces, pero crece casi sin que te des cuenta hasta convertirse en una lid épica que aúna fábulas mágicas, horrores fantásticos y psicóticos, y la vida campestre de un pueblo.
Las palabras son sencillas y producen un efecto evocador al estilo británico, con sus lugares llenos de alma, sus cocinas humeantes de afecto y comidas calientes y té y tartas con natillas, y los niños que siempre acaban topándose con la soterrada vida sobrenatural de sus paisajes bucólicos.
Da un poco de miedo al mismo tiempo que maravilla. Me daban ganas de refugiarme bajo la cama, pero también de beber té a todas horas, jajaja.
Esta versión en inglés tiene 180 páginas, los bordes de las páginas están cortados a capas y la cubierta tiene el título en relieve. Lo curioso es que la imagen es de una chica en lugar de un niño. Imagino que será la amiga del protagonista.
El final me ha dejado algo embobada, sin saber a qué atenerme, medio triste y soñadora. ¿Son todas las historias de Gaiman de esta guisa? :o)
EL OCÉANO AL FINAL DEL CAMINO
Tapa flexible con solapas
Género mágico infantil
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Precio según formatos disponibles:
18, 13, 9 y 8 pellizcos
the tour in English
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Coming of Age
UK National Book Awards 2013 "Book of the Year"
“Fantasy of the very best.” Wall Street Journal
A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse where she once lived, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy. A groundbreaking work as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out.
“[Gaiman’s] mind is a dark fathomless ocean, and every time I sink into it, this world fades, replaced by one far more terrible and beautiful in which I will happily drown.” New York Times Book Review
It's a beautiful, unsettling rendering of life through the eyes of a little boy, speckled with fairy-tale mystery and knife-sharp reality.
It starts as a cozy tale of a seven-year old boy who experiences the world through books and describes his home, his family and his neighbours in sweet, natural tones. Then, it slowly grows into uncharted territory where ancient monsters lurk and adults are blind to see and powerless to protect him and themselves.
The narrative is evocative, with its own melodic cadence that is so British and becomes spooky as the horror unfolds from the depths of an eerie forest.
Some people the boy meet are reminiscent of traditional folklore stories with scenes that are comforting to the soul and full of good magic. Yet there are other forces at large that seem like hidden dragons that cannot be defeated in crude daylight. Those parts are disturbing and I felt like a child again, scared and unbelieved by grown-ups.
It may be small in size and homey in words, yet it's a big adventure with a big heart. In particular, I like it because the boy represents the young spirit we all carry inside, dormant but always ready to recognise that we are not so much in control of the wild side of nature, which includes ourselves.
As the boy's adventure developed, it grew in darkness and mysterious powers and universal truths that are always beyond the grasp of conscience. It was a joy to read because the narrative flows with a poetic, yet simple grace, and they supernatural devours reason with surprising acceptance from both the boy and the reader. I felt oddly comforted by the heart-warming presence of delicious food (porridge, custard, pies and tea), while all around the characters there was an increasing force of uneasiness and threat.
It's a strange folklore fairytale that entertains and disquiets . In the end, it allows us to wake up as if from a dream, and we're as unsure as the boy about what it all meant and if it was ever there.
Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have.
Adults should not weep, I knew. They did not have mothers who would comfort them.
About the mastermind:
Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.
Visit his website at http://www.neilgaiman.com
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