Doctor Who writer Neil Gaiman has won the National Book Award’s Book of the Year 2013.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Gaiman’s fantasy novel about a man who returns to his childhood home for a funeral, won the award which was voted for by the public.
Gaiman, who has written episodes for Doctor Who as well as The Sandman, Coraline and Neverwhere, which recently aired as a radio play starring Benedict Cumberbatch, James McAvoy and Natalie Dormer, beat off competition from 9 other shortlisted National Book Award winners to take the top spot.
Of the award, Gaiman said: “I’ve never written a book before that was so close to my own heart: a story about memory and magic and the fear and danger of being a child. I wasn’t sure that anyone else would like it.
“I’m amazed and thrilled that so many other people have read it, loved it, and made their friends read it too.
“Winning a National Book Award was thrilling; discovering that the public have made The Ocean at the End of the Lane their Book of the Year is somewhere out beyond wonderful. Thank you to everyone who voted.”
The Ocean at the End of the Lane was up against publications such as David Walliams’ Demon Dentist, I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.
Previous winners of the award include EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman and David Nicholls’ One Day.