A Review of Sorts: 'Neverwhere' by Neil Gaiman
'Neverwhere' by Neil Gaiman; where to start?
Over there, perhaps.
I really enjoyed this book for lots of reasons. Firstly I loved the ambition of creating a tale using the Tube stations of the London Underground and the cracks in our own society as a source of inspiration. Homelessness, poverty, poor mental health on the underbelly of a rich world are hard places to be, and Gaiman makes a whole new world of it. I loved the idea. The world of Victorian sewers beneath our feet and glimpses of an old London as it used to be; older than Time itself, ghostly snapshots of the past that still exist; unseen.
Brilliant. And the ordinariness of the cast, particularly the hero. Richard Mayhew. Adrift in a world where the fantastical really does exist. There are angels and rat-speakers, killers, deamons, curry, and Kings. Well, Earls and Barons at the very least. And the concept of the Lady Door, difficult to take in at first, but all the better for it as a character. I liked the beginning; it beguiled me with Richard Mayhew's daily grind, his routine, a dull groove he chose to tread with some success. For that was what he was. Successful.
His world overturned, lost as he fell through a crack, I loved the middle, cheered the end; albeit very sad cheers as I didn't want it to be over. This is a proper piece of fantasy, an adventure of the brilliant kind, and it reminded me a wee bit of Douglas Adam and 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'; despite never actually leaving the London sewers. For me, a relative newbie to Gaiman's work, it's his best and only my second five star rating of 2018.
Read it if you get the chance.
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