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YMMV / The Ocean at the End of the Lane

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Exactly how much of the abusiveness of the narrator's family is due to Ursula's influence?
    Narrator: You made my daddy hurt me.
    Ursula: I never made any of them do anything.
  • Squick:
    • At one point we are treated to a relatively detailed description of the narrator's father having sex with Ursula Monkton.
    • Also, the narrator pulling a very long worm out of a hole in his foot, also described in detail.
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    • And the narrator having a coin shoved down his throat in a dream, and choking on it in real life.
  • The Woobie: The narrator. Let's count the ways. The book starts with him having a One-Person Birthday Party, and the only person his age who gives him the time of day is Lettie. His kitten gets run over by a taxi. He sees the corpse of an opal miner who committed suicide in the family car, then gets drawn into a situation involving Eldritch Abominations, which manages to bury a worm into his foot and use it as a trans-dimensional gateway to get to Earth. Once there, the narrator nearly gets killed when the being (maybe) coerces his father to attempt to drown him in a bathtub, and leaves him as the Only Sane Man when the rest of his family are coerced/taken over by the being. He manages to escape (peeing himself in the process) and gets Lettie's help, but it forces him to confront his inner demons (including his father appearing outside the fairy circle, who may have been real) before the situation is temporarily solved. Later, the demon is driven away for good, but at the cost of a Heroic Sacrifice Lettie makes to keep the hunger-birds from eating the narrator's heart, which puts her in a coma and — after 40 years — still unable to speak or move. Did we mention that the narrator is 7 years old when all this is happening, and doesn't comprehend most of he's seen? The narrator's adult life isn't much better either, where it's explained that he's just left a failed marriage, and that he's always unable to remember the traumatic events after leaving the Hempstock farm whenever he visits.


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