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 and 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.
Echoes... Brilliant. And the ordinariness of the cast, particularly the hero. Richard Mayhew... Adrift in a world where the fantastical is. 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 and a dull groove he chose to tread.
That was what he was!
Then as his world was overturned, lost as he fell through a crack, I loved the middle and cheered the end; albeit very sad cheers because I didn't want it to be over. This is a great piece of fantasy, and a brilliant adventure. For me it's the best of Gaiman's work that I've read so far, and only my second five star rating of 2018.
Read it if you get the chance.