Monday, November 18, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Geeks love Neil Gaiman.  I mean love him, they want to have his babies.  Even his male fans.  They want to go full-on seahorse.  I do not want to have his babies and even though I am a geek, I have mixed feelings about his work.  I've read some of his books and enjoyed them and I listened to one of his books on audio and I  It was so very very awful.  He was trying to be funny but it was like this broad stupid humor.  Like Two and Half Men funny.  Unacceptable.  Thank the American Gods, this is not one of his "funny" books but his subtle fantasy books. Yes.  Stick with what you're good at. Comedy writing is specialized. A comedy writer was sad that Al Franken became a Senator. He said, "I'm sure he's a fine Senator, but he can write comedy.  Its like if Mark Twain became a florist."  

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a novella, which is book-code for longer than a short story and smaller than a novel.  I'm sure his publisher was like, yes!! People love you so much we can sell it for $25.99.  That's the real price and not a joke. 

This book is a darkly whimsical look at a childhood memory, its a memory the supernatural forces at play keep repressing.  Our protagonist has some freaky neighbors, nice but like Elementals.  Beyond witches, elementals.  They look like ordinary English country folk. His slutty babysitter looks like an ordinary slutty English babysitter, but she is so much more.  Oh, and there are magical kitty-cats!  Yes.  They don't talk but they are magic for just being awesome.  Hey, if I can get mine to not steal my food and refrain from puking on the rug I would consider that magical too.   Anyway, this is a good book, read it. 

This book is anything if not very British.  Any book where the protagonist reminisces about eating a meal with Spotted Dick...well...c'mon.  So drink with an Earl Grey Martini.  I've had a variation on this drink at a restaurant and it was amazing.  Take one teaspoon Earl Grey Tea leaves and let them steep in 1.5 ounces of gin for two hours (yes, you will have to plan ahead), strain and add one ounce of lemon juice and two ounces of simple syrup, add these to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake shake shake.  Pour into a sugar rimmed martini glass.  (lemon wedge, dip rim in sugar). A cold dismal drizzle British-y day..bring it on. 

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