Saturday, September 15, 2007

BOOK: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Would you believe I had never heard of Neil Gaiman before this year? How is this possible? And I don't mean I hadn't read any of his books - never heard of the man. Then I read American Gods and I really enjoyed it, it had a real Stephen King quality to it. This is high praise from me. Then I read Coraline during the Once Upon a Time challenge and found it super creepy. And then I laughed my way through Good Omens, a tale of the apocalypse but in a funny way.
But I think I liked Neverwhere the best.

First of all, I really want to go to London. Gaiman uses the mythology present in England to fashion an amazing world, underneath London. The subway system is an integral part of this novel and I really want to ride the tube now. One night on his way to dinner with his fiance, Richard Mayhew comes across a woman, hurt on the sidewalk. He insists on helping her, and this becomes the most momentous decision in his life. He loses everything - his fiance, his home, his job, and his life on the upper levels of London. Because Richard has fallen through the cracks into the underside of London, where Knightsbridge is a Night Bridge, and angels and Friars and shadows and some really creepy people are hanging out. When you hear "Mind the Gap" you should take it serious.
Richard is soon on a quest with Hunter, and Lady Door and the marquis de Carabas in a battle underground. Gaiman has created the most amazing world and interesting characters and I enjoyed picking this up every time. Richard is a rather reluctant hero and I liked how his everydayness made him a realistic person. He doesn't do amazing feats, just is brave when necessary and thinks for himself.
So, hurrah for the RIP II challenge and me finding this great book. There was violence and some gory scenes, but the world underneath was amazing and Gaiman is an amazing writer to imagine this place just beneath our periphery.

15 comments:

Framed said...

Great review. After reading your comment on my review, I was excited to see you take on this novel. Like you, I had never heard of Gaiman until a year or so ago. Now I see his name every where. I agree that Richard is a great character because he is so ordinary. Glad you enjoyed the book.

Literary Feline said...

Great review! I only began reading Neil Gaiman this year and both books I read by him I enjoyed. I hope to read Neverwhere one of these days. It sure sounds good.

raidergirl3 said...

It's funny because I'm a big King fan and King and Gaiman are somewhat similar in how they both can create complete worlds that are so believable, and characters that you don't forget.
I don't know if I'll try his graphic novels yet; I'm saving Stardust for next year's Once Upon a Time

Booklogged said...

I don't know why I didn't like Neverwhere more than I did. Don't get me wrong, I really did like it. Must have been the timing. My favorite Gaiman's are Stardust and Coraline. I wonder if I reread Neverwhere...

Chris said...

I'm so glad that you've discovered Gaiman this year! He's one of my favorite author's and this is certainly one of his best...but they're all "one of his best" ;) Don't you just love the atmosphere of this book? I'm blown away at the brilliance of this man's mind and his ability to come up with these amazing stories...and his writing is just superb. So glad you enjoyed it!

CoversGirl said...

This was the first Gaiman I read (only last year; why did I wait so long?) and I loved it.It was one of those books I borrowed from the library and wished was mine. I didn't want to give it back! My mind still boggles at the amount of imagination that went into it.

Stephanie said...

Really nice review!! Ok..I had heard of Neil Gaiman, but this is the first year I've read anything of his! And I'm up to 3 so far!! American Gods, The Anansi Boys and Stardust, all of which I loved!!

raidergirl3 said...

I feel like I joined some secret club of Gaiman fans. I wonder why so many of us - mainly women, since Chris was already on board- have only found him this year.

Chris said...

I think Carl's two challenges have really brought him to light to the book blogging community this year, so that may explain why so many people are just learning of him...whatever the reason is, I'm glad that so many people are exploring his work. I'm a long time fan and he really is an incredible author. It's great to see so many new fans :D

3M said...

I need to read this sometime!

3M said...

I just noticed Neverwhere was your 100th book!

Congrats!!!!!!!!!

Sherry said...

I, too, just heard of Gaiman this year or last year maybe. But I still have yet to read one of his books. It's on the list, but . . . so many books, so little time, as they say.

Mo said...

Yes, it is a toss-up between his "American Gods" and "Neverwhere" which is my favorite Gaiman read - then again, I've yet to read one that I didn't thoroughly enjoy!

Glad to see so many others are 'discovering' and loving his books, as well!

Rhinoa said...

I had only read The Sandman graphic novels and Smoke and Mirrors before this year. Now I have read Neverwhere which I really enjoyed as well as you and hope to read American Gods too. I am not his biggest fan, but I definately do enjoy his books.

katrina said...

I only discovered Gaiman this year, I loved Neverwhere, will certainly make going on the Tube more interesting - I hate it at the mo, all boiling hot then freezing cold, packed and grubby!
I linked your review to mine, hope you don't mind? x