NeverwhereRichard Mayhew is on his way to dinner with his fiancee’ Jessica, an important dinner where he will be meeting her boss for the first time.  When a young girl steps through a door in a wall and collapses in front of them, bleeding, Jessica is all for ignoring her and moving on to impress her boss, but Richard vows to help the girl.  She begs to not be taken to the hospital, to be taken somewhere safe from her attackers, so he takes her home with him, infuriating Jessica in the process.

In getting help for the girl, Door, Richard finds himself in a labyrinthine version of London below the London he knows.   This ‘London Below” is a magical, haunted realm, filled with homeless folks, as well as inhabitants from other times, like monks, ancient Romans, warriors and vampires, as well as angels and demons.   Compounding his problems is the fact that in ‘London Above’, he is suddenly invisible, and he loses his job, his home, and his fiancee’.  So he must find a way back to his own reality, where he can return to the life he knows.

Neverwhere was first produced as a show for the BBC, and was shown in 6 episodes in 1996.  Neil Gaiman wrote the story for the television show, and he adapted it into a novel that same year.

I enjoyed the book while I was reading it, but I didn’t feel myself compelled to pick it up very often.  Eventually, I decided to skip the middle of the book, and read the last few chapters instead.  I guess I’m just not a big fan of the Fantasy genre.  The level of detail required to create the mythical worlds bogs me down and I lose interest.  But if you’re a fan of Fantasy, you might find this to be an enjoyable read.

3 thoughts on “Neverwhere

  1. Oh dear! Reading this particular Gaiman (speaking as a bit of a fan) is rather like your first Doors album being An American Prayer – all the pieces are there but it’s a bit of a Frankenstein’s stitch up that never really comes together as a complete piece of art.

    If you can bear to give something of his another try, check out Anansi Boys, then American Gods and (for my money, his best book) The Graveyard Book – written for children but only in the sense that anyone over the age eight would appreciate it.

    The real core of his stuff, though, starts with vol 3 of the Sandman comics – start with 3, go through to the end, pick up 1 and 2 once you’ve got into the swing of it. Seriously.

  2. DadWhoWrites, I’ve read a bit more Gaiman. I read The Graveyard Book earlier this year, and I really liked it. Also read Stardust. 🙂 So I’m not blaming him. This was my first reading of his more adult stuff.

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