The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Last Friday I went to see world-famous author Neil Gaiman with my good friend Seb. I’ve never been to an author talk before, and if it weren’t for Seb telling me about the event, I would well have missed the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Neil Gaiman is author of best-selling children’s book Coraline, comic book series The Sandman, and novels Stardust and American Gods. The event, titled ‘An Evening with Neil Gaiman’, was held at the City Recital Hall in Sydney, in Angel Place – where a lovely display of bird cages hangs between two tall buildings. Although Neil Gaiman was not there to autograph books or for a meet-and-greet of sorts, he was there to share and read to us excerpts from his upcoming novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and children’s book Fortunately the Milk.

Words are extremely difficult to express the beauty of what was performed in words, but it was such a magical experience listening to Neil Gaiman read. I was so enthralled by his personality and the way he read and expressed himself whilst reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It was wonderful and I was completely drawn into the book. I could have closed my eyes and been taken away, but the dim light was enough to make me feel alright watching Neil Gaiman telling his story from his small podium on the stage. I really admired him. After the intermission and during the second half of the evening, Neil read part of Fortunately the Milk. I am absolutely in love with the title of the book. During this segment he was supported by string quartet FourPlay, and they added a wonderful depth to his storytelling, as well as playing the Doctor Who theme song.

I’m definitely looking forward to Neil Gaiman’s two books come mid-year and will definitely get my hands on them. I definitely have a different view of audiobooks now, and punnily enough shouldn’t have judged a book by its cover considering I have not heard an audiobook from start to finish. In a question-and-answer segment at the end of the evening, Neil answered a number of questions from people who had attended. He said that he does like audiobooks because as opposed to actual books, you cannot skip ahead and it sort of forces you to really be a part of the book (in a good way). Someone had asked him, “Did you know that American Gods is an anagram of creaming soda?”

This resulted in an echo of laughter throughout the hall, before Neil asked who actually asked the question (it was someone at the back). He said, “Well, I do now.” 😆 I was so glad that Seb had a good time as well, he even wrote a blog post after months of not writing. 😄

We got a new car today to replace the one that got smashed. The new one is a Toyota Camry Atara and it’s mega. I was amazed that I could use Bluetooth to connect my phone to the car and answer phone calls and play music from my phone using the car. In comparison to our old car, there is a lot more room. It seems like there’s a lot more room, at least. The black interior is so lovely compared to the ugly grey we had before. I felt inclined to edit these photos because I’ve never once thought a car was cool until now.

Car1

My dad’s in that photo above. I swear he wasn’t admiring the car, just checking out the door. (He isn’t a young and hip dude who shines his car every morning.) In the following photo – I was just gobsmacked seeing that I could play music on my iPhone right from the car. My mum was inside the house and I texted her just to tell her how awesome this car is. She and my dad are still getting used to the car because it’s very different from our old one. The location of buttons and gears and brakes is enough to make them a little puzzled.

Car2

Last week I went to see Hey Geronimo twice. As usual they were wonderful. I enjoyed Thursday’s set more than Wednesday’s – there were a lot more people attending, they played more songs, and it was nice to see the audience having a good time. I had the honour of sharing some of my photos and writing a review of the two gigs for Canadian music blog A Music Blog, Yea? and you can view my post on their site. It sums up my two nights pretty well and in more depth than I will here! I also enjoyed Thursday night because Dylan was able to accompany me. It also occurred to me that I’ve dragged him to more Hey Geronimo gigs than any other band, and he’s seen them nearly as many times as I have (seven, cough).

It was lovely to see the guys performing again that night, with just as much energy as the night before. I was genuinely surprised when Pete introduced a new song One Way Driver (it’s not actually new – it’s new to HG, but it was performed by Pete’s old band at some point) and said, “This one’s for you, Georgie.” 😍

So, here’s one of each of them.

Greg
Ross
Tony
Pete
Andrew

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Comments on this post

I haven’t commented in a while; feels like forever! But here I am again.

I’ve never been to an author talk, but it sounds captivating. I wonder if I will ever go to one… but hmmm, maybe one day I’ll be invited to attend my brother’s if he makes it big with the work he’s doing! 😆

Good to hear about your new car! Sometimes when I’m in my car and only my parents are with me I’ll play music too, but I’m not sure if it’s Bluetooth-powered so I just use the cable that’s provided. I can also charge it within the car with another cable as well. Although, I haven’t been in my family car in a while! The last ride I got was with my friend Dorothy 🙂

I’m glad you had a great time on both days with Hey Geronimo. You must be so honoured to have a song dedicated to you by your favourite band! I’m still hoping you’ll get to take me to a show soon ♥️

The only Neil Gaiman book I’ve read was Good Omens, and that’s co-authored! I’ve always wanted to read more of his work though, as I really enjoyed Good Omens and have heard great things about him from friends that have read his books. I’ll have to pick up a copy of one of his books and give it a whirl soon!

♥️ I am going to say you are now a HG groupie fan thingee, but I sensible, normal one. Not like some silly girls you see around.
I am not a car girl, but that car looks really nice, stylish and NOT to big. YAY for cars like this. 💣

That would have been so exciting to see and hear Neil speak! I would love to have hidden in your bag. 😄

YAY, that is really good news about the cat. It is great that you now have the transportmobile back in action, and a refreshed model. 😄

I haven’t read anything by Neil Gaiman except for Sandman but I do wish to read more of his work. The Graveyard Book for example is on my list of books I wish to read some day.

That’s cool that you went to an author talk with Neil Gaiman! I’ve been wanting to read his Sandman series, and I wanted to read Coraline after watching the movie. I’m not really into audiobooks though. I guess I like going at my own pace. It’s kind of why I prefer to read manga instead of watching Anime.

Congrats on the new car 😄 Camrys are nice! I like how much technology is in cars now, especially being able to connect to phones for music. No more having to make CDs, haha. I stopped hooking my phone up to the bluetooth though, because it was awkward when I got a phone call while people were in the car.

That’s sweet of Hey Geronimo to dedicate a song to you!

I heard Neil Gaiman’s works before but I neither read one of them nor had knowledge about any of it. But as I read about what it feels to hear him read his book, it attracted me. I’ll try to read one of his works soon. 🙂

Awww! How sweet of Hey Geronimo to dedicate a song to you! ♥️

I had actually never heard of Neil Gaiman before. I’ll go check out his books now! I have never though of audiobooks that way before: I always thought that they went too slowly, and liked reading at my own pace. Perhaps I’ll try it again sometime.

I read part of your blog post for the music site, and then read their Hey Geronimo interview. And since they’re not coming to the US, and I’m not flying to Australia just to see a band, I cannot wait to see their first album! 😄

I haven’t read any books by Neil Gaiman, but from the way you describe him, he sounds absolutely BRILLIANT! 😛
I’ve never been to an author talk before either, but my friends have gone to multiple John Green ones. I’m so jealous! John Green is one of my favorite YA authors; he’s the best! ✌️ 👏