Top positive review
Gaiman s Best Work
Reviewed in the United States on April 19, 2020
I feel Gaiman is a master of crafting sentences, and his prose flows like honey. But I don’t typically cotton to Gaiman’s stories in their whole. Neverwhere felt too as if he leveraged too much of London, though the characters were attractive and interesting. American Gods misses the true tale: it should have been a murder mystery not a buddy travel tale. His collaboration with Pratchett — Good Omens — was too cheeky for my taste. His retelling of Norse Mythos was an engaging, grounding book to offset comic portrayal of characters such as Odin, Thor, Loki, but in the end, not original in source.
Ocean is different. From the first page I was hooked, and to date this has been the only work of “horror” (not that we should label it as such) that I have read where I found myself actually horrified, even frightened, by a chapter or passage. This is an accomplishment not a criticism. Ocean is able to span the gap of lonely youth to forlorn adulthood elegantly — you are able to identify with the narrator in both time frames. The characters are all well visualized, identifiable and therefore real, not two-dimensioned cutouts. The clockwork behind the scenes is given enough treatment to understand its operation, the cause and effect, but not so much as to lose the wonder, the beauty of the mythology of a world Gaiman has created. Some people may want him to write a sequel, perhaps delving into these aspects further, but I think doing so would lose the charm of this work.
Well done, Neil.