Neverwhere By Neil Gaiman A Review

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Title: Neverwhere

Author: Neil Gaiman

Publisher:William Morrow Paperbacks

Publishing Date: 1996

Goodreads

Summary

Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancée. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her – and the life he knows vanishes like smoke. Several hours later, the girl is gone too. And by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won’t stop for him, his landlord rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness – to a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere. For this is the home of Door, the mysterious girl whom Richard rescued in the London Above. A personage of great power and nobility in this murky, candlelit realm, she is on a mission to discovery the cause of her family’s slaughter, and in doing so preserve this strange underworld kingdom from the malevolence that means to destroy it. And with nowhere else to turn, Richard Mayhew must now join the Lady Door’s entourage in their determined – and possibly fatal – quest. For the dread journey ever-downward – through bizarre anachronisms and dangerous incongruities, and into dusty corners of stalled time – is Richard’s final hope, his last road back to a “real” world that is growing disturbingly less real by the minute.

I am so glad that I randomly pulled this book off the shelf of the library. Until I got home, I was unaware of this gem of a book or its starting off as a mini-series in the UK. Having read only one other Neil Gaiman book, Anansi Boys, I am familiarizing myself with his work and wondering what took me so long to do so.

The world created in Neverwhere is rich and expansive. You can nearly smell the sewers and feel the grittiness of London Below. It is such an interesting idea to have a fantastical realm and characters that are adjacent and aware of our modern world. They are us with a twist. The way in which Neil Gaiman uses the London underground stations to become something more literal and an integral part of the plot, was so much fun. As a plot device, I found it to be very inventive. 

Richard Mayhew, who is the most regular everyman, is a character that you cannot help but root for. He is a good person who tries to do the right thing but is utterly average in every regard. Until he has a fantastical adventure that leads to becoming a warrior and learning to live in a place of adventure.  

I loved nearly everything about Neverwhere. If you are looking for a well-written fantasy novel filled with interesting characters, Neverwhere should be moved to the top of your to be read pile.

Images and summary from goodreads.

Comments

  1. This is one book that I loved also. Richard Mayhew is definitely an unforgettable character.
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