Book reviews

REVIEW: Neil Gaiman, “Neverwhere”

by Neil Gaiman

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Rating: ★★★★☆
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Published: 1996/09/16
(2014 for this Russian edition)
Format: Hardcover

Synopsis: Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere. (cr.: Goodreads)


Neil Gaiman is a well-known name for fantasy lovers. He has lots of remarkable works, including Stardust, American Gods, Caroline, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, etc.; also he wrote scenarios for several Doctor Who episodes. Just recently he released his brand new book called Norse Mythology.


“Neverwhere” is Neil Gaiman’s official _solo_ debut, released back in 1996, during the process of filming the original TV series of the same name. Because lots of important scenes were either shortened, removed completely or drastically changed in the TV run, Gaiman decided that Neverwhere needs a book adaptation where he can add whatever was removed from the series. And, as you probably know, the book got more successful than the original TV series.

Richard Mayhew was your typical clerk: working from 9 to 5, having a fiancee bitching around like hell geez, renting an apartment in London. One day he decides to save a little wounded girl named strangely Door, and that changes his whole life. Richard must follow Door to the Londow Below to help her find the killer of her family, and find his own way back to normal life in London Above. But would Richard stay in his familiar London after what he had gone through?


I really liked Neil Gaiman’s stuff from Stardust (I still think that the movie adaptation was more interesting than the book) and Doctor Who episodes (loving The Doctor’s Wife so much, I miss Idris!!), and this book is not an exception. I love the dynamic development of the plot, although I wanted to punch Richard in the face for asking way too many questions when he was told not once but my times to avoid questions out of his concern. His character development is clearly seen throughout the story, so, of course, I would understand that his daily routine after his return to Londow Above becomes 50 shades of boring compared to running away from all kind of dangers, overcoming fears and visiting Floating Markets. Also loved Door, she was lovely and reliable, and her actions looked real. Hunter was an unexpected character here actually her betrayal was a damn surprise, sorry for the spoiler T_T Loved how Neil pulled out the entire new London to intertwine with the existing one! And props for making clear rules for these two world to coexist. Definitely will take this book out to reread again one day.


If you read this book as well, share your opinions!


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