Monday, 27 June 2016

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Published in September 1996.

How I got this book:
Purchased the audiobook

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Neverwhere, the novel, is a companion novelisation to an original TV series conceived and written by Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry.

Set around the London tube map, Neverwhere is the fantastic story of ordinary Londoner Richard Mayhew. Having stopped to help an injured homeless girl, he finds himself made invisible to the normal London above and sucked into the world of London below. A frightening place of Black Friars and Angels, Ratspeakers and Assassins, the Court of a Medieval Earl and a girl who can open any door with just the power of her mind. Richard must stay alive long enough for Door to find the people behind the murder of her family. Then he might just be able to come home.

The story is an amazing feat of imagination with innumerable I-didn't-see-that-coming moments. Gaiman reinterprets famous landmarks in a wonderfully original way which I won't discuss in depth here as it would spoil the surprises but I loved the ideas. I found myself missing Richard and Door, Hunter and the Marquis when I wasn't listening to their tale and actually wishing myself back onto a Stagecoach bus for more commutes so the characters could continue their journey too! Gaiman writes well for realistic female characters and I do appreciate that in his stories women are rarely just adornments to male storylines. Indeed, in Neverwhere, the traditional male-female dynamic is almost totally reversed through Door and Richard.

Neverwhere is the fourth Neil Gaiman book I've listened to and he is definitely one of my favourite authors. I also love that he is an excellent narrator. Hearing an author read their own work means you know you're getting exactly the emphasis and tone they meant all the time but, of course, not all authors are good narrators so it doesn't always work out well.

Etsy Find!
by Tomsky Store in
London, England

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Books by Neil Gaiman / Fantasy / Books from England

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