the ocean at the end of the lane


'The room was warm, but the sheets were cold. The bed shook as something landed on it, and then small feet padded up the blankets, and a warm, furry presence pushed itself into my face and the kitten began, softly, to purr.
There was still a monster in my house, and, in a fragment of time that had, perhaps, been snipped out of reality, my father had pushed me down into the water of the bath and tried, perhaps, to drown me. I had run for miles through the dark. I had seen my father kissing and touching the thing that called itself Ursula Monkton. The dread had not left my soul.
But there was a kitten on my pillow, and it was purring in my face and vibrating gently with every purr, and very soon, I slept.'


The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Audrey Benjamin's incredibly accurate interpretation of the Hunger Birds from Ocean



'Our hero’s kitten means more to him than anyone realises. Did you have any pets as a child? Do you think that they have more significance for children than adults?

I think so. I think there’s a bonding experience between children and pets whereas adults would be hard pushed to make that amount of emotional investment in pets. My pets were pretty much always cats and many of the things that I talk about in Ocean are things that absolutely happened to me and cats.
There’s a Terry Pratchett poem that he wrote in an anthology that I co-edited a long time ago which begins "They don’t teach you the facts of death, your Mum and Dad. They give you pets." And, actually, it’s true. For many of us, pets are the way we initially discover it. We encounter it, learn how to live with it, learn how to survive it. And that, in some horrible way, is what pets are for.'


(Taken from the endnotes of The Ocean at the End of the Lane)



Joe Wright to direct the upcoming movie adaptation.