1. 1 year ago  /  145 notes  /  Source: lordshezza

  2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane - The TImes

    We live in a militantly rational age; the era of Richard Dawkins and religious decline. And yet more and more of our favourite stories seem to be about escaping from the world of reason. We love vampires, werewolves, ghosts (sometimes all three together), dragons, wizards and a time-travelling doctor.

    Neil Gaiman is perhaps best known to the wider public as a contributor to Doctor Who, so it’s not surprising that there is a slight whiff of the Time Lord about The Ocean at the End of the Lane, with its shape-shifting malevolent creature from an alternative universe, the wormhole between its home and ours, and the mysterious more-than-human characters who are the hero’s salvation.

    We first meet that hero (we never learn his name) as an adult, escaping from a family funeral and returning to his childhood home in Sussex. A visit to the old red-brick farmhouse at the end of the lane from his house transports him back to his seven-year-old self.

    He was a shy and bookish child, afraid of the dark. Shortly after a disastrous birthday party his world is turned upside down when his family starts to take in lodgers and he is turned out of his bedroom. Then one of the lodgers, “the opal miner”, commits suicide in the family’s white Mini after gambling away all his money.

    After discovering the body, the boy is comforted by the women who live in the old farmhouse. Ostensibly they are three generations of the Hempstock family, but there is something marvellously unusual about them — not least their apparent ability to read thoughts and their odd references to “the time of Cromwell” and “old Red Rufus”. And then there is the duck pond in the farmyard that Lettie Hempstock, the 11-year old daughter, insists is an ocean that her family crossed when they came to the farm.

    Soon things start to get even weirder. Random gifts of money start to appear, sometimes flung violently at children, and Lettie explains that the miner’s death has given a creature from another realm access into the world. So she and the boy cross over to the creature’s home to try to “bind” it there. But the monster, a strange figure made of old grey rags, plants a wormhole in the boy’s foot to allow it to cross back into the human world.

    When the boy returns home his mother tells him that she has to go out to work and that he will be looked after by a new nanny, Ursula. But Ursula is cruel; she threatens to lock the boy in the attic, tries to seduce his father and provokes the older man into a terrible act of violence against his son. The boy soon realises that she is the monster in human form and only the Hempstocks can save him from her. But a terrible price must be paid, in which we learn the significance of the pond-ocean.

    Gaiman writes fantasy short stories, comics and books for children and young adults. This is the first of three books he is issuing this year in what his publishers are calling the Year of Gaiman — there is even a website (gaimanalmanac.com). And although this is his first “adult” novel since 2005, it will appeal to his younger fans too. The book it most reminded me of is Alan Garner’s The Owl Service and there’s even a hint of Puck of Pook’s Hill in there somewhere. His prose is simple but poetic, his world strange but utterly believable — if he was South American we would call this magical realism rather than fantasy. He is especially good at the terrors of the night (there is a thrilling chase), the oddities of the Hempstock world (where the moon is always full) and the comforts of old-fashioned farmhouse food.

    Of course, it is easy to imagine the reality behind the story: a sad child in an unhappy home with neglectful parents and a mean carer, and how people who live differently can seem so exotic. Children make up monsters and oceans to survive such things. But Gaiman’s achievement is to make the fantasy world seem true and these mundane interpretations merely a sad attempt to rationalise what we can’t understand.

    1 year ago  /  6 notes

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  4. edenliaothewomb:

Scarlett Johansson, photographed by Txema Yeste for the Marie Claire, May 2013.
(click the image for extremely high-res photo.)

    edenliaothewomb:

    Scarlett Johansson, photographed by Txema Yeste for the Marie Claire, May 2013.

    (click the image for extremely high-res photo.)

    1 year ago  /  11 notes  /  Source: edenliaothewomb

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    1 year ago  /  837 notes  /  Source: imgaro

  6. imgaro:

2013.3.25

    imgaro:

    2013.3.25

    1 year ago  /  89 notes  /  Source: imgaro

  7. 1 year ago  /  24 notes

  8. edenliaothewomb:

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, photographed by Matthew Brookes for Vanity Fair, April 2013.
(click the image for EXTREMELY high-res photo.)

    edenliaothewomb:

    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, photographed by Matthew Brookes for Vanity Fair, April 2013.

    (click the image for EXTREMELY high-res photo.)

    1 year ago  /  72 notes  /  Source: edenliaothewomb

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    1 year ago  /  1,134 notes  /  Source: charlidos

  10. 1 year ago  /  502 notes  /  Source: noelieg91