Study Guide

The Ocean at the End of the Lane Chapter 1

By Neil Gaiman

Chapter 1

I

  • In perhaps the saddest memory ever (seriously—this guy just needs a hug), our narrator is recalling that no one came to his seventh birthday party. They still go through all the motions, though, which makes it even more pathetic.
  • His only friends are the kitten his dad gives him when his aunt dies, and his books. Books are great and all (duh), but still—yikes.
  • Oh, great. His kitten gets hit and killed by a taxi, which was dropping off his family's newest boarder, a strange South African opal miner. That guy gives him a terrifying old tomcat to replace his sweet kitten. Gee thanks, dude. No, you're right—they're totally the same.