book review: the ocean at the end of the lane

The Ocean At The End of The Lane is Neil Gaiman’s latest book for adults, but it reminded me much more of Coraline or The Graveyard Book than American Gods.

Part of that is because of its small scale. There’s an author whose father has died and on his visit home for the funeral he stops by a neighbour’s farm. This prompts recollection of the story of the opal miner who was their lodger when he was seven, which is a story he’d forgotten. The story involves a creature giving people money and seducing his father so that he will never be able to get help.

I liked the story, it was beautiful and Gaimany. I kind of feel bad for saying it but I’d hoped for something more substantial.

book review: father and son

Larry Brown’s Father and Son is a novel about a small town in the american south in the ’60s. A man comes back from serving three years for running over a little boy while drunk driving. His mother died while he was in prison. He gets stopped by the sheriff coming into town and warned to be good. He kills some people and rapes some more.

Also in the story is the sheriff, who is the killer rapist’s half brother. He wants to make a life with this woman who works at the diner, but who said she’d wait for the killer rapist to get out of jail to be with his kid.

The sheriff and killer rapist’s father lives in a shack and takes his illegitimate grandson fishing some times. He can’t walk so well and life is hard.

All of that makes up the novel, but the art to the thing is in the sentence by sentence construction. Brown is good at describing this terrible claustrophobic ominous little place I would never ever want to live anywhere near as a place where someone could try and be happy. It definitely reminded me of No Country for Old Men, but even more strongly of the X-Files episode Home.