Selected as one of NPR’S Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of All Time
The #1 New York Times bestselling author’s ultimate edition of his wildly successful first novel featuring his “preferred text”—and including his special Neverwhere tale, “How the Marquis Got His Coat Back”
Published in 1997, Neverwhere heralded the arrival of a major talent and became a touchstone of urban fantasy. Over the years, a number of versions were produced both in the U.S. and the U.K. Now Gaiman’s preferred edition of his classic novel reconciles these works and reinstates a number of scenes cut from the original published books.
Richard Mayhew is a young London businessman with a good heart whose life is changed forever when he stops to help a bleeding girl—an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed. Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in Neverwhere—a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Here in Neverwhere, Door is a powerful noblewoman who has vowed to find the evil agent of her family’s slaughter and thwart the destruction of this strange underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life and home, he must join Lady Door’s quest to save her world—and may well die trying.
Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, and is the recipient of numerous literary honors. Originally from England, he now lives in America.
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About the Author
Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, and The Graveyard Book. Among his numerous literary awards are the Newbery and Carnegie medals, and the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. Originally from England, he now lives in America.
Date of Birth:November 10, 1960
Place of Birth:Portchester, England
Education:Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
Read an Excerpt
She had been running for days now, a harum-scarum tumbling flight through passages and tunnels. She was hungry, and exhausted, and more tired than a body could stand, and each successive door was proving harder to open. After four days of flight, she had found a hiding place, a tiny stone burrow, under the world, where she would be safe, or so she prayed, and at last she slept.
Mr. Croup had hired Ross at the last Floating Market, which had been held in Westminster Abbey. "Think of him," he told Mr. Vandemar, "as a canary."
"Sings?" asked Mr. Vandemar.
"I doubt it; I sincerely and utterly doubt it." Mr. Croup ran a hand through his lank orange hair. "No, my fine friend, I was thinking metaphoncally -- more along the lines of the birds they take down mines." Mr. Vandemar nodded, comprehension dawning slowly: yes, a canary. Mr. Ross had no other resemblance to a canary. He was huge-almost as big as Mr. Vandemar -- and extremely grubby, and quite hairless, and he said very little, although he had made a point of telling each of them that he liked to kill things, and he was good at it; and this amused Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar. But he was a canary, and he never knew it. So Mr. Ross went first, in his filthy T-shirt and his crusted blue-jeans, and Croup and Vandemar walked behind him, in their elegant black suits.
There are four simple ways for the observant to tell Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar apart: first, Mr. Vandemar is two and a half heads taller than Mr. Croup; second, Mr. Croup has eyes of a faded china blue, while Mr. Vandemar's eyes are brown; third, while Mr. Vandemar fashioned the rings he wears on his right hand out of the skulls of four ravens, Mr. Croup has no obvious jewelery; fourth, Mr. Croup likes words, while Mr. Vandemar is always hungry. Also, they look nothing at all alike.
A rustle in the tunnel darkness; Mr. Vandemar's knife was in his hand, and then it was no longer in his hand, and it was quivering gently almost thirty feet away. He walked over to his knife and picked it up by the hilt. There was a gray rat impaled on the blade, its mouth opening and closing impotently as the life fled. He crushed its skull between finger and thumb.
"Now, there's one rat that won't be telling any more tales," said Mr. Croup. He chuckled at his own joke. Mr. Vandemar did not respond. "Rat. Tales. Get it?"
Mr. Vandemar pulled the rat from the blade and began to munch on it, thoughtfully, head first. Mr. Croup slapped it out of his hands. "Stop that," he said. Mr. Vandemar put his knife away, a little sullenly. "Buck up," hissed Mr. Croup, encouragingly.
"There will always be another rat. Now: onward. Things to do. People to damage."
Three years in London had not changed Richard, although it had changed the way he perceived the city. Richard had originally imagined London as a gray city, even a black city, from pictures he had seen, and he was surprised to find it filled with color. It was a city of red brick and white stone, red buses and large black taxis, bright red mailboxes and green grassy parks and cemeteries.
It was a city in which the very old and the awkwardly new jostled each other, not uncomfortably, but without respect; a city of shops and offices and restaurants and homes, of parks and churches, of ignored monuments and remarkably unpalatial palaces; a city of hundreds of districts with strange names -- Crouch End, Chalk Farm, Earl's Court, Marble Arch -- and oddly distinct identities; a noisy, dirty, cheerful, troubled city, which fed on tourists, needed them as it despised them, in which the average speed of transportation through the city had not increased in three hundred years, following five hundred years of fitful road-widening and unskillful compromises between the needs of traffic, whether horse-drawn, or, more recently, motorized, and the needs of pedestrians; a city inhabited by and teeming with people of every color and manner and kind.
When he had first arrived, he had found London huge, odd, fundamentally incomprehensible, with only the Tube map, that elegant multicolored topographical display of underground railway lines and stations, giving it any semblance of order. Gradually he realized that the Tube map was a handy fiction that made life easier but bore no resemblance to the reality of the shape of the city above. It was like belonging to a political party, he thought once, proudly, and then, having tried to explain the resemblance between the Tube map and politics, at a party, to a cluster of bewildered strangers, he had decided in the future to leave political comment to others.
He continued, slowly, by a process of osmosis and white knowledge (which is like white noise, only more useful), to comprehend the city, a process that accelerated when he realized that the actual City of London itself was no bigger than a square mile, stretching from Aldgate in the east to Fleet Street and the law courts of the Old Bailey in the west, a tiny municipality, now home to London's financial institutions, and that that was where it had all begun.
Two thousand years before, London had been a little Celtic village on the north shore of the Thames, which the Romans had encountered, then settled in. London had grown, slowly, until, roughly a thousand years later, it met the tiny Royal City of Westminster immediately to the west, and, once London Bridge had been built, London touched the town of Southwark directly across the river, and it continued to grow, fields and woods and marshland slowly vanishing beneath the flourishing town, and it continued to expand, encountering other little villages and hamlets as it grew, like Whitechapel and Deptford to the east, Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush to the west, Camden and Islington in the north, Battersea and Lambeth across the Thames to the south, absorbing all of them, just as a pool of mercury encounters and incorporates smaller beads of mercury, leaving only their names behind.Neverwhere
A Novel. Copyright © by Neil Gaiman . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Reading Group Guide
Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a boring career in finance 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 in an instant.
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 fiancée doesn't recognize him, and 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, assassins 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.Neverwhere is the home of the Lady 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 discover the persons responsible for 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 dreaded 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.
- Who is Richard Mayhew? What defines his everyday life in London? How would you characterize his relationship with Jessica? Who does he encounter on the street who alters the course of his life? How is this event predicted by the old fortuneteller at his going away party?
- Who are Mr. Vandemar and Mr. Croup? Describe their personalities. Did you find any of their appearances in the book terrifying or humorous? Which ones? Who are they searching for at the beginning of the book?
- Who is the Lady Door? What are some of her unusual powers? What creatures help Door gain access to the marquis de Carabas? What is her quest?
- How would you describe the marquis de Carabas? Did he seem entirely trustworthy to you? With whom does he collude? What is the significance of the silver box he gives to Old Bailey? What transformation does de Carabas undergo in Neverwhere?
- Where does Richard meet Hunter? How does she help him in the London Below? How does she react to the disappearance of Anaesthesia? Whom does she vow to protect? How is that pledge ultimately compromised? Were you surprised by her betrayal?
- How would you describe London Below? What serves as its primary mode of transportation? Who populates it? What regular occasion serves as a kind of neutral meeting ground?
- Name some of the more eccentric characters Richard Mayhew encounters in London Below. Were there any aspects of this region that you found particularly fascinating or easy to envision?
- Did you feel sympathy for any character in particular? Did you feel revulsion for any of the characters? Which ones?
- Of the special powers enjoyed by Islington, Door, de Carabas, and Hunter, which ones did you find most marvelous? Which abilities would you like to possess? How did Richard interact with this motley crew?
- Were you surprised by Richard's decision at the end of Neverwhere? Why do you think he made such a choice?
About the author
Neil Gaiman is the critically acclaimed author of the novels American Gods (winner of the 2002 Hugo Award for Best Novel), Stardust (winner of the American Library Association's Alex Award), and the award-winning Sandman series of graphic novels, as well as Smoke and Mirrors, a collection of short fiction, and Coraline (winner of the 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novella), a tale for readers of all ages. His first book for children, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, illustrated by Dave McKean, was one of Newsweek's Best Children's Books of 1997. In 2003, Gaiman and McKean teamed up again to produce another illustrated children's book, The Wolves in the Walls. His small press story collection, Angels & Visitations, was nominated for a World Fantasy Award and won the International Horror Critics Guild Award for Best Collection. Originally from England, Gaiman now lives in America.
On Tuesday, June 17th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Neil Gaiman to discuss NEVERWHERE.
Montey from NYC:
Neil Gaiman: Frantic negotiations are currently going on to buy NEVERWHERE (the movie rights). To be completely honest, I have no favorite actors, the characters are so real to me, it is difficult to pinpoint an actor and actress. If anybody, I could play Richard, but I have no plans of acting.
Robert from New Jersey: Who do you think is the best horror/fantasy writer out there today?
Neil Gaiman: If it has to include both categories, the finest author out there is Jonathan Carroll, who is now being published in trade paperback, normally in the literature shelves. Books such as SLEEPING IN FLAME, A CHILD ACROSS THE SKY, and OUTSIDE THE DOG MUSEUM.
Dickey Charlton from Studio City, CA: Great book!! Marquis de Carabas rocks!! Where do you think up these unusual characters? Are they strictly from your imagination, or do you use any real people as influences for your characters? (Marquis de Carabas in particular.)
Neil Gaiman: I think de Carabas probably, in my head, originally began life as a kind of Richard O'Brien character. But most characters in NEVERWHERE came out of place names. I wondered what the Earl would be like in Earl's Court or the Angel in Islington. In the Marquis I wanted a character who was, in his mind at least, always one step ahead of the plot.
Paul from New York City: Do you prefer writing comics or writing full-length books?
Neil Gaiman: What I prefer is telling stories and every method of telling stories. Whether comics, TV, film, radio drama, short stories, poems, or novels. They all have their up sides and down sides. But for me, the primary goal is always the act of telling the story.
Greg from St. Louis, MO: Croup and Vandemar are a couple of vicious dudes. Do you think such evil exists in our world today, or only in fiction?
Neil Gaiman: I think one cannot read a book about serial killers or the Holocaust without realizing that evil exists in reality worse than anything one will encounter in fiction. Croup and Vandemar, however, are cartoon evil characters. Like most of the people in NEVERWHERE, they know their roles in the book and are proud, delighted, and possibly even honored to be the bad guys. As Mr. Croup puts it, they don't have any redeeming features.
Mike Margiotta from Albany, NY: I really enjoy your Sandman work. I also love the collaboration you did with THE BOOKS OF MAGIC. Do you have any plans to bring back Morpheus? I have been away from comic books for several years now, so excuse my question if you currently have anything like this currently in print. I love your work!
Neil Gaiman: The story of Sandman is really over -- you'll find it in the ten volumes of graphic novels that begin with PRELUDES AND NOCTURNES and ends with THE WAKE. It's one story that took eight years to tell and 2,500 pages, and for now I am very content to leave it that way.
V. from Florida: Hello, good fellow! How's it going? Any date set on the Stardust publication? How about a Miracle Man resurgence?
Neil Gaiman: Stardust, which is a four-volume adult fairy story and will be very heavily illustrated by Charles Vess, will be published in six weekly intervals starting in October. No news on Miracle Man, although the next issue has been finished for almost four years now.
Sue from Port Washington, NY: As a child, which comic strip did you most enjoy reading, and did those strips influence you today?
Neil Gaiman: The comic strip I most enjoyed and which probably influences me today was Feiffer. I practically learned to read on the Feiffer collection THE EXPLAINERS, and I think the comic book that I most enjoyed was the original Swamp Thing.
tyg from Silicon Valley: Hi, Neil. Any word on "Neverwhere" being picked up for U.S. showing? Also, did any other signings in the Boston area materialize?
Neil Gaiman: Two noes.... If people want to see "Neverwhere" the TV series, which is flawed but fun, they should write to whatever station you would like to see it on (Sci-Fi, PBS) and let them know. I am only doing the stops on the tour.
Shaun from Parma: How much difference is there between the British and U.S. versions of NEVERWHERE? Also, when will we see some of the endless miniseries?
Neil Gaiman: The American version of NEVERWHERE is about 10,000 words longer than the English; it has a few extra scenes and a lot more description. However, it lost one of the prologues (which can be found on the Avon web site), and it lost some of the jokes.
Kirk Chritton from Sedalia, Missouri: How has living in the U.S. changed your working relationship with Dave McKean?
Neil Gaiman: Well, our old working relationship consisted of one of us phoning the other every night at 2am because we were the only people we knew who would be up at that time, and we would see each other every few weeks. Now when we do things together it is in shorter, more concentrated bursts, but we still delight in working with each other, and I loved doing THE DAY I SWAPPED MY DAD FOR TWO GOLDFISH. We have a book called DUST COVERS coming out toward the end of this year.
Pauline from Berkeley, CA: I'm also a fan of Jonathan Carroll. Any chance of both of you collaborating in a venture of some sort?
Neil Gaiman: There are people you don't want to collaborate with, because you want to see what they do and because what they do is so unique. Authors like Jonathan Carroll or Iain Sinclair or Gene Wolfe are people I want to read, not to write with.
Sean Kelley McKeever from Columbus, OH: Do you plan on writing more comics in the near future, and if so, will you only write for comics occasionally, or will you possibly take on another monthly series?
Neil Gaiman: I have no plans to write another monthly ongoing series at this time. But it is possible a few years down the road. Most of the work I am currently doing in comics is very short. Sandman took me almost a decade to write, so these days I like things I can finish by teatime.
Ismael from N.Y: What is your obsession with angels? From Lucifer and the Angels that keep Hell in SEASONS OF MIST, MURDER MYSTERIES to NEVERWHERE.
Neil Gaiman: I don't know. Every time I write a good angel, I think I've got them out of my system forever, and then I'll turn around and another angel has crept in. They are like roaches. All I can do is apologize.
Eden from Virginia: In that great interview with you from the book COMIC BOOK REBELS from a few years ago, you mentioned working on a show for the BBC called something like "The Underside." I'm assuming that became NEVERWHERE. I'm just curious about how long you've had the concept of NEVERWHERE.
Neil Gaiman: Yes, since 1991.
Kjartan from Norway: Thinking back to the book GOOD OMENS, how is writing a book alone, like NEVERWHERE, compared to writing it together with another writer?
Neil Gaiman: I get to keep more of the royalties. It is difficult to explain and probably bears the same kind of relationship that masturbation does to sex.
Jeffro from Colorado: Any plans for an "Endless" characters' miniseries any time soon (besides Death)?
Neil Gaiman: There is a "Destiny" series, which I don't have anything to do with, coming soon. I plan to write a "Delirium" series once I finish writing STARDUST.
Cindy Archer from Houston, TX: Your story "Snow, Glass, Apples" was a real treat. Do you have any plans to give other "Disneyized" stories the same treatment, returning them to the grisly tales from which they most likely evolved?
Neil Gaiman: I was planning to write a "Jack in the Beanstalk" retelling at some point. We'll see. Avon plans to release a short story collection next year, tentatively entitled SMOKE AND MIRRORS.
Pauline from Berkeley, CA: Do you have any comments regarding censorship in comix? BTW, congrats for winning the award for best fantasy short story (for a graphic novel, no less!). Must have ticked off some of the fantasy writers out there!! :)
Neil Gaiman: Thanks for the congratulations. The bit I thought was silly, was we got the award on Saturday night and on Sunday morning, they changed the rules to prevent it from ever happening again. My main comment on censorship is that I am in favor neither of it nor of any self-appointed censors. Which is why I've given so much time and energy to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which fights for First Amendment rights. I just had a chapbook called ON CATS AND DOGS published by Dreamhaven Books, profits from which will go to the CBLDF.
Lizard Man from The Swamp: Mr. Gaiman, I absolutely love your work and I am psyched to read NEVERWHERE. I just want to know what graphic novels you read?
Neil Gaiman: "Cerebus," "From Hell" and "It's a Good Life If You Don't Weaken" (by Seth) are three of my current favorites.
V. from Florida: I read somewhere that you may be directing a "Death" film. True or untrue?
Neil Gaiman: An outline for "Death" the movie is sitting on somebody's desk at Warner Bros. But everything depends on what happens with and to the "Sandman" film (which I am not involved with).
Andy from Allentown, PA: Will you ever combine any of the characters from your Sandman series with any of your other books? I would love to see them with Door and Richard.
Neil Gaiman: I strongly suspect that the world of NEVERWHERE is the world of Sandman, but I could be wrong.
Moderator: Thanks for joining us this evening, Neil.
Neil Gaiman: Thank you for having me, and thanks to barnesandnoble.com, which has been so supportive with all my books.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Before reading Neverwhere I would never have called myself a 'fantasy' fan. I was almost turned off from reading this based on its classification. I am so happy I did read it though. It's turned into one of my favorite books. It pulls you out of reality while you read it and suddenly you are in another world. The characters are great and the plot is brilliant. I have now read every book by Neil Gaiman and I love them all. He recently did a book signing that I attended and all I could do was thank him for being a writer. I would say the age range for this book should be 14+. A couple scenes are graphic with adult themes. Neverwhere turned me on to the fantasy genre. It's worth a read.
One of my favorite books of all time, so ingenious and imaginative and hillarious! Mr Croup and Mr Vandemar are the most delicious villains. And Richard's adventures in the underworld are mesmerizing. Read this book 3 times, and each time it's a so satisfying.
I loved this book from start to finish. To me it reminded me of a darker version of Alice in Wonderland. It seemed to me the book had a sense of magic to it. I love the unexpected plot of the story. There was very little that I did not like to this book. Neil Gaiman says that he will write the second one to this book. I can't wait for the next one to come out.
Fantastic hardly begins to describe this book, Gaiman¿s imagination simply rises over most in a way that is ¿ well, delicious. This book truly reads like a treat and it also reads quickly. There is so much vividness to the underground world Neil creates, so much detail and so much spark to it, that falling into it and believing it becomes extremely easy. And once you are in that state, turning pages in this book is a cinch.
In this story, a man, who is leading your average life in an average world (London, England), at the average point in his life, ends up stumbling into something he should not have seen and instead of walking past it like everybody else does, he helps the girl that falls before him. From that point on Richard Mayhew is dragged into the vicious underworld of the forgotten, where he must struggle not only to survive but also to keep his sanity if he ever hopes to get his life back.
This book provided a lot of creative inspiration, and if you know Neil Gaiman, more famous for his work authoring the Sandman Graphic Novels, you know his work is dark, witty, entrancing and addictive. A very good read.
For fantasy-loving, Neil Gaiman fans, Neverwhere is an entirely perfect book. The plot was intense and magical in so many creative and delicious ways. I finished the book in about three days, since I just couldn't put it down. It's full of horror, thrilling events, magic, rats, and evil characters as well as good ones. Finishing the book was mind-blowing, since I can't recall being that awed by a novel besides the Harry Potter series. And that's saying something! The juicy details and beyond-creative story line is insanely riveting, so I absolutely recommend this for anyone who has a taste for fantasy and Neil Gaiman. One of his finest (and earliest) works.
I wasn't really a fan of Fantasy genre until this book. Neil Gaiman creates a very dark and outlandish world beneath the city of London England inhabited by a feudal aristrocrasy, solitary warriors, and a religious cult who talks to rats. But up in London "proper" Richard Mayhew is living an ordinary and orderly life. His fiancée, Jessica has seen to that until the hapless Richard literally trips over a bleeding young woman. Jessica demands he leave her be, but Richard's compassion won't let him leave her injured, lying on the pathway. He takes her to his flat where she cleans up and soon disappears. Lady Door is running from two mendacious mercenaries who have slaughtered her family. By morning, Mayhew has apparently vanished too! His bank card won't work, taxi drivers don't stop for him, Jessica doesn't recognize him, but most troubling to Richard is that his landlord has rented out his flat. He has no home. He has inexplicitly ceased to exist in the world as he knows it. The only way to return to his reality and regain his home, job, and fiancée is to enter the shadowy neverwhere world of Lady Door's London Below. With no choice available to him, Richard joins Neverwhere's noble lady and her small band to find the malevolent Angel (who will stop at nothing to possess Door's abilities) and stop his evil plan to destroy London Below and its inhabitants. Only then, Richard can find his way back home to London Above. Reading Gaiman's NEVERWHERE takes the London's Tube's loudspeaker warning "Mind the Gap" to a much more complex meaning... People can fall through the gaps/cracks, literally, not only down onto the rails but much deeper, ending up in "London Below". Richard Mayhew is an unlikely Samaritan and protagonist, but when confronted with a choice he follows his charitable instinct and assists a wounded rag girl he finds lying on the sidewalk. To save her from her apparent killers he sacrifices all that he is as well as the basic creature comforts of life. Gaiman spins a brilliant yarn of life in the underbelly of London, with its shady characters, speaking rats and special "guides". There is more than one reality. In London Above Richard and Lady Door can be seen but not recalled beyond an instant. The real-life maze of London underground tunnels, hidden passageways and dead ends provide the existent, yet twisted, backdrop to the story. Time and distances have no meaning. The names of tube stations acquire new relevance: the Earl resides at Earl's Court, the black Friar monks are in Black friars and Islington is an Angel. Following Door and her unusual companions, Richard discovers the limits of his endurance especially when confronted by the Black Friar quest and on the Night Bridge. Mayhew questions his own existence and reality. While his desire to get back to his normal life keeps him going, his chances to break free from the shadowy Neverwhere increasingly appear to diminish. Gaiman's novel has become one of my favorite books and a proud addition to my home library!
I have read several Neil Gaiman books, and I'm gonna go out on a limb and say this is my favorite. American Gods is a close 2nd, but something about the dark London underground just drew me into this book. Enchanting,haunting, and beautifully written, I loved every minute of it!
For starters, I love Neil Gaiman's writing style. Very imaginative and straight to the the heart. I read an earlier review by 'Mike' and I have to totally disagree. Gaiman's books are all very creative and imaginative and extremely well written. I believe that Mr. Gaiman adds a breath of fresh air to a semi-stale genre. He's a God-send for consumers of good writing everywhere! Now, about Neverwhere... I enjoyed this book. Not to the point of euphoiria, but enjoyed it nonetheless. The story plot and conception of this book are amazing. They are what really got me interested. I have read other Gaiman books, Anansi Boys and American Gods, and enjoyed those thouroughly. American Gods was my favorite, with Neverwhere very close behind! A very good read for anyone wanting a slight chill with a side of laughter! Pick this one up!
Gaiman has the perfect combo of imagination with terror, thrills and fantasy.
Well, after three weeks, and over half way finished, I finally gave this book to my husband to read and fill me in. The writing style just put me off, completely. There are so many paragraph-long sentences in this book I could hardly follow. There is so much description of the surroundings that you sometimes forget what the story is about, yes the surrounding is a major part of the story, but there is only so much I can take and it eventually distracts from the plot. Once into the book things become spoken of long before you get any knowledge of what they are. Don't get me wrong, I like little tidbits here and there that make the puzzle all nuzzle together neatly at the end, but seriously, this was like taking a 1000 piece puzzle mixing it all up, dumping the picture reference and expecting you to put it together on your 'skilz' alone. Of course, by the end you can figure out where the final pieces go, but who wants to wait and struggle through that?! I prefer to enjoy the whole book not just the ending when it all makes sense. I did not connect with the characters my husband did, but only after reading the whole thing through. Me, I like to connect straight away so I can invest in reading the rest of the story. Through my husband I did get the story, which was really good. I really liked the story, but the delivery was way too much work for me. I like books with language that has flow and rhythm, not choppy, confusing and long run-on sentences. I like to re-read my favorite parts of a book, not re-read because I need to try and make sense of what's being said. My husband agreed, the creative writing style just detracted from the story too much. But, he did say I quit just when it was finally getting good, I just couldn't make myself read any more of it. Too bad, I really wanted to love it! 2 stars because: It really was a good story, imaginative, unpredictable, suspenseful. But, I just could not will myself to finish it.
Neil Gaiman has a winner with Neverwhere. It's like an epsiode of Twilight Zone mixed with a generous portion of Douglas Adams and a pinch of weirdness just for fun. This is a real page turner, keeps you guessing and makes you want more. Can't pass a homeless person without wondering about the world of Neverwhere ...
This is perhaps my favourite book, and it is only made better by listening to the author read it. Croup and Vandemar are deliciously creepy, the Marquis is disdainful, and he even manages to convincingly portray an innocent teenage girl 'Door'. I've never been a fan of audiobooks before, but this was amazing.
This is one of my favorite novels. This book is full of sardonic humor, absolutely hilarious villains, believable characters, mystery that will blow you away, and a mystic feeling that sticks with the story all the way through. The character is a normal guy and stays normal throughout the book so that the reader can relate to how he reacts to certain situations and how he acts in general. Pick up this book. You won't be disappointed. TRUST ME.
This is the best book I have ever read. Period. It was simply amazing, and I am so upset that I JUST finished it. I also hate serials but I wish that this idea was continued, the characters and the world that Gaiman created were so vivid and yet unreal, that it's unlike anything I have ever come across, but the closest being Alice in Wonderland. But in its own right this book will stand the test of time for me. Gaiman is a master and this is his masterwork. I actually upgraded from the 7.99 edition to the larger 13.99 just because I loved it so much, I wanted to have a better copy for when I pick the book up again to read. Read this book, it's amazing.
REVIEWED: Neverwhere WRITTEN BY: Neil Gaiman PUBLISHED: 2003 (first published as a miniseries script, 1996) It’s really been a long time since I’ve read a dark fantasy book as absorbing as NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman. Suffice it to say, this novel was fascinating, exciting, funny, scary, and overall simply brilliant. Whatever happens to the “people who fall between the cracks in society,” The homeless, the runaways, the forgottens? They literally fall into another “mirrored” world below, composed beneath the sewers of London and built with the magic and lost technology that is forgotten today. In “London Below” entire villages may have fallen through the world and people from all walks of life converge, in a world of shadows, conspiracy, monsters, angels, and crime. Gaiman’s style of writing seems so effortless and natural. It’s very warm and conversational, as if he were telling the story to you in person while sitting at a county pub with a couple pints of suds. It’s smart and entertaining and satisfying. Gaiman has a talent for world building, and there are a host of background characters who are all just as fascinating as the main characters. This book has been made into a T.V. Series for both BBC and again for A&E and a comic series through DC Comics, so it’s really gotten around. Highly recommended for lovers of adventure, dark fantasy, and light horror. Five out of Five stars
A fun fast read. I primarly enjoy horror/suspense, king and the such but deciced to give gaiman a look after reading a few of b.n reviews, I really enjoyed his style. Was able to connect with his characters actually caring if they survived through to the next chapter. I've since read other gaiman novels and am now pretty much hooked, he mixes fantasy with great chatacters like few can, love this guy, recommend- recommend!
very weird and complex, hard to follow. his most recent book is better, this is a disappointment.
Yet another winning novel from the prolific imagination of the phenomenally talented Neil Gaiman, a true master of the art of storytellng in whatever medium he chooses to express himself. Well worth reading: the BBC's filmed adaptation is equally wothwhile.
Perhaps I am not used to this type of literature (about the "underworld") - wanted to stop reading it because of the peculiar story line, yet finished it after all. ODD story, peculiar writing style ....
My first tead of Gaiman's stuff outside of "Sandman", and it hooked me on him forever.
I thought this was an okay story. Yet, I found no romance or true connection to the characters. They just had a story and went through it. Some of the scenes are totally random but interesting. I hate the main character - Richard. He's a wimp, selfish and a whiner. Door is very cold and doesn't really express much except for constant focus on revenge. So it was a creative but kind of heartless story. Although there is a realization of wanting more in life in the end - that's about it.
For most of my adult life, I didn't really care for anything in the genre of fantasy, but thta all changed a few months ago when I belatedly read Gaiman's par-excellent comic book series The Sandman. After finishing that, to get my fix, I went out and read this book. Since then, I've not only followed Neil's work but also writers similar to Neil like Gene Wolfe, Roger Zelazney and Jonathan Carroll. If that weren't enough, I ended up publishing two fantasy stories of my own. Neil's work has played a pretty big role in my life lately.
The way Neil Gaiman utilizes ancient legend, fairy-tales and myths is just amazing. While reading Neverwhere, you encounter talking rats, monsters, angels, and a pair of killers who really enjoy their line of work. Another cool thing, was that everywhere in London Underground was based off of London's subway system. The main characters visit places like Earl's Court and The Black Friars. There actually is a Earlscourt station and Blackfriars station in London. Another thing that I liked was the use of "Mind the Gap". In London, the Gap was the space between the station and the door of the subway. The worst that could happen to you was that you would trip and fall flat on your face. In London Below, the Gap holds dark and shadowy creatures that will grab at you and pull you under. Gaiman reveals a strong plot level by level and builds up the tension like a master. It has drama, action, humor and plot, and it's quite easy to read. If you are into myths, legends and fairy-tales, and not intimidated by gore and guts, then you will like this. Even the hardcore fantasy reader will find this worth reading, as Neverwhere is classic fantasy with a dash of darkness.
I absolutely love Neil Gaiman's work. I first became aware of Neil Gaiman when a friend recommended me reading American Gods. As with American Gods, I become intrigued and captivated by Neverwhere's characters. Neil Gaiman is an amazing author and creates a vivid visual of what London underground is like. I was so wrapped up in Neverwhere that I finished the book quickly. The plot is exciting and well written. After reading American Gods and Neverwhere, I am a permanent Neil Gaiman fan. He also wrote Coraline. I would highly recommend this book to persons who enjoy fantasy worlds and those who enjoy the imagination that Neil Gaiman brings into his books. I will say this, it is not a light, funny book. It can be a little dark but entertaining none-the-less. Not only are the characters and plot well written, the interactions that the characters have with each other are also well written. For those who enjoy slightly darker fantasy, I would highly recommend Neverwhere.
This book is vividly imaginative with arresting visual descriptions and bizarre imagery. The story line is engaging, and the 'Above London' protagonist is sympathetic. The supporting characters are wonderfully quirky, and the villains are delightfully evil. The pace is moderate as there's no real urgency to the plot until it approaches resolution. However, it doesn't really matter because it's all about the amazing underside journey through 'London Below'.