Author: Neil Gaiman
On the Shelves: Fiction> Fantasy
“Under the streets of London there’s a world most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew is a young businessman who is about to find out more than he bargained for about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his safe and predictable life and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and yet utterly bizarre. There’s a girl named Door, an Angel called Islington, an Earl who holds Court on the carriage of a Tube train, a Beast in a labyrinth, and dangers and delights beyond imagining… And Richard, who only wants to go home, is to find a strange destiny waiting for him below the streets of his native city.” (Goodreads 2014)
I was going to hold off writng this review until I re-read the novel- but I’ve read Neverwhere three times in the last two years, so I feel like I can sum up my feelngs for it in an adequate review.
Neverwhere is one of my favourite books. Like most of the internet, I love Neil Gaiman’s writing. The only work of his I’ve not yet read is his Sandman works. Neverewhere ticks every box I love in a book: . Fantasy? Check. Side-Romance? Check. Mystery? Check. Thriller? Check. Adventure? Check!
The story, as the synopsis describes, follows a “normal” guy, Richard Meyhew- who manages to fall through the cracks of London- known as London Below- after helping a girl who has fainted on the street, covered in blood. He has no understanding as to why, suddenly, nobody can see him, hear him or even remember his existence, he has no idea where Door is from and is even more confused as to why she has two of the most creepy and sinister henchmen after her, and now him!
The characters in Neverwhere are some of the most fantastic characters I’ve read. The world building is beautifully crafted and detailed, making London Below believable- I’ve been on the tube numurous times since reading Neverwhere, and every time I pass through one the stations mentioned in the book, I smile, because I feel like I know some secret, despite it being fiction. One of my favourite characters is definitely the Marquis, and I can honestly say that if I were to have a nightmare about fictional characters, I really would not be shocked if Croup and Vandemaar showed up in it- they truly are terrifying. If you are deciding to read a work of Gaiman, if you are new to him- I cannot recommend Neverwhere enough.
After you read Neverwhere, You will never hear the infamous Tube phrase “Mind the Gap” in quite the same way again!