Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman


This is the first full length novel I have read by Neil Gaiman (I have read Smoke and Mirrors which is a collection of his short stories as well as The Sandman graphic novels) so I was intrigued to see if it would be any good or not! It follows Richard Mayhew who is your typical bloke having moved from Scotland to London. His life is forever changed after helping a young woman who is badly injured one night when going out to dinner with his fiance. He is dragged into London Below which is a whole other world underneath London as we know it, where the people who have slipped through the cracks live.

Below he meets Rat-speakers, murderers in the form of Mister Vandemar and Mister Croup, Old Bailey, the Marquis de Carabas, Hunter and the girl he saved Door who has the inherited ability to open any door she comes across. Door sets on a quest to avenge her family who have been killed by Vandemar and Croup on behalf of an unknown employee and Richard finds himself tagging along to see if he can uncover a way back to his life in London Above.

The prose wasn't the best I have to admit, howvere I loved the imagination and creativity behind the story. The fact that I live in the London and use the Underground most days made it seem more real to me. The use of the Underground names and the play on words Gaiman does was great (eg Seven Sisters are seven actual sisters, there are a bunch of Black Friars, Islington is an Angel and the Earl holds Court). It's funny that I didn't realise Terry Pratchett was doing a paraody of Vandemar and Croup in his book The Truth with Mr Pin and Mr Tulip in their manner of speaking, their characteristics and their love of fine artwork!

Very dark, I can also see where Holly Black took some inspiration for her novel Valient. I am looking forward to reading more of his novels.

**** out of 5

10 comments:

Quixotical said...

This is a favourite of mine. Some fantastic characters in there. Glad you enjoyed it!

Neil Gaiman's other novels are just as good and better. :)

Nymeth said...

Neil Gaiman is my favourite author. I'm glad to see you liked this book.

And do read more of his work, his writing got even better with time!

Carl V. said...

"The prose wasn't the best"...blasphemer!!! LOL! ;)

Neverwhere is one of my favorite books, period, and was also my first Neil Gaiman novel experience. Glad you enjoyed it and I hope you check out some of his other stuff.

Rhinoa said...

Cool cheers guys, I will definately be reading more of his novels in the future.

Carl : The prose in the descriptive parts wasn't the best, he tended to repeat words and phrases needlessly, however Anne Bishop does the same in The Black Jewels Trilogy and that is perhaps my favourite book ever. His dialogue is great though and I can see why his writing works so well in graphic novel format.

Stephanie said...

Nice review!! I have only read one Neil Gaimain....American Gods. BUT, I loved it!! I actually just started The Anansi Boys for the Once Upon a Time Challege.

Chris said...

I love Gaiman! Everything the man writes is wonderful. May I suggest American Gods...loved it!

BookRat said...

Oh this is one of my all time favs :)

booklogged said...

I liked Neverwhere, but didn't love it. There are other by Gaiman that I liked better - Coraline and Stardust.

Marina said...

My husband has been after me to read this, because I won't watch the dvd set until I finish it.

Framed said...

I've only read "Stardust" and "Good Omens" by Gaiman and enjoyed both immensely. They are completely different from each other and sounds like from "Neverwhere" also. I plan to read more of his books because there are so many surprises.