Going Underground: Neverwhere Review

91Zw9iS4sRL._SL1500_A quick review of a book that most people and their dog have already read a long time ago. There’s a reason for me doing one and it’s more for Neil Gaiman himself than for the story.

I’ll explain. I’ve read a fair amount of Gaiman’s novels and, of course, Sandman in up there for me as one for the greatest pieces of literature ever committed to the page.

Apart from Sandman though, I’ve always been a bit meh about his stories. Or not the stories so much as the delivery. He’s a great writer and I love his characterisation but… I feel like I should love him more.

So he’s become a running joke in our household, with Mr Bee trying to force feed me more and more Gaiman until I submit to loving him as much as he does.

It took me a long time to pick this up. American Gods took me about seven years to wade through and ditto for the Ocean at the End of the Lane. Both were okay.

This. Well, this was… brilliant!

I won’t waffle on too much about the Adventures of Richard Mayhew and Friends. Chances are you already know, you may be a long-term cheerleader for Neil Himself, as many of my friends are.

If you don’t already know then I don’t want to ruin it for you. You should read it though.

The brief synopsis is this: something happens one evening while Richard Mayhew is on his way to dinner with his new fiance. This something changes both their lives forever.

Turns out there’s a whole other London below the one we know; London Below. Rat infested, dark and twisted, this London is home to all manner of creatures including the wholly unpleasant Mr Croup and Mr Vandemar. There’s Door the waifish ‘door opener’ and the Marquis de Carabas, a charming but roguish chancer who may or may not be untrustworthy.

Then there’s Hunter and Old Bailey, The Serpentine Sisters, the Velvets and Hammersmith; all of whom may just change the way you view the underground map forever.

So, to Neil I say, thank you for this. It was amazing. It reminded me of Sandman in some ways and made me fall in love with your imagination all over again.

To Mr Bee: you win. This was great.

Book details:

  • Neverwhere
  • Publisher: Headline Review (19 Sep 2005)
  • ISBN-10: 0755322800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755322800
  • Paperback belonging to my husband

6 thoughts on “Going Underground: Neverwhere Review

  1. Oh! I am so glad that you liked this one 😀 It was the first bite of a mini Gaiman binge that I partook in a few summers ago. (American Gods! I loved it so much! Pity) I need to find something a bit more fun for summer reading. I am wading through Huxley’s Grey Eminence at the moment. Thoughtful, and well written as it is, I am finding it a bit, um. Draining. What’s next on your list, lovely? x

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    1. Oh I so wish I was madly in love with American Gods, I just found it hard work. I do love his characters though and was definitely crushing on Shadow, I can’t even put my finger on why it wasn’t for me.

      Erm, I am reading Bret Easton Ellis at the moment but then I have a short one called By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept. I bought it for the title and the cover, is that shallow?! Ha. I will check out your one, it sounds good!

      So so miss you I wish we could talk about this in person xoxo

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  2. 😀 Haha you must read more of his books. I think American Gods was…meh. And Ocean at the End of the Lane was great but I don’t know if I liked it because I appreciate Gaiman so much. Glad you enjoyed Neverwhere! My favorites of this author are hmm: Stardust, Graveyard Book, Coraline 🙂

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    1. I think I do need to read some more, it seems his older stuff might agree with me more! I have read Coraline, and loved it. I’m not so sure about Stardust, I love the film but I’m not sure if I want to read the book as well, perhaps I will if you recommend it! I’m also glad I’m not the only one who felt that way about American Gods. What are you reading right now?! x

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      1. Haha, oh well I can’t help but recommending books I have liked 😀 but everyone has different taste in book. I just finished reading some book of the Georgia series by Karin Slaughter. She’s good. What about you?

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  3. My English teachers “always” warned me about speaking in absolutes. Who are these MOST people who have read this?:P No one I know.
    I’m not well-read in Gaiman anymore than I care to read Shakespeare. But, I did page through a Neverwhere graphic novel and suddenly found a DVD partial story (volume 2 of however many there are). I liked the video and wanted to see more. But, compared to the art in the graphic novel, the video was very low-tech (pathetic in comparison). It’s an interesting concept, and I like the female “white rabbit” or “key” (Door was it?) that leads the “bum” into the other world. I’m still not sure I like the story as a whole. It’s Gaiman’s “Alice in Wonderland,” obviously. Except, he is Alice.
    I’ve been advised to read some of Gaiman’s other works. And, while I was amused (and annoyed) with his portrayal in Simpsons cartoons, I am not so eager to pick up some titles with disturbing descriptions/titles. But, I do see some merit/skill in his writing/thinking.
    I am not sure how I feel about anyone force-feeding reading “assignments.” It’s that logic that turned me away from reading in school. We had to read certain books. And, when I couldn’t get into the story or was disturbed by it, that really did not help. But, it must be nice to have a close friend as a reading buddy.

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