Greetings Fellow BookNerds,
I am beyond excited to share with you guys my thoughts and feelings on Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. From the moment I started reading it, I knew it was going to be an amazing literary journey, and not just because it’s Neil Gaiman… although honestly, that’s reason enough. I have yet to be disappointed by any of his books.
That being said, I attempted several times to explain what this book was about to my boyfriend, because I knew he would probably love it as much as I did, but realized that there is just not enough word combinations to accurately describe this epic tale. There’s a little review blurb on the back of the book that described it as a ‘dark version of Alice in wonderland’, which I agree with one hundred percent. The man character is dragged into a world they can’t explain, one that defies all logic and sanity, and which is full of bizarre and colourful characters, both friend and foe.
If I’ve gleaned anything from Gaiman’s creative process, it’s that he loves to throw his protagonists into situations that are completely absurd and without any kind of rules or common sense, and it makes for the most engaging, on-the-edge-of-your-seat story every time, without fail. All of his characters have a life of their own, even if they only appear for a brief moment. I honestly believe that if you were to remove any character from this book, regardless of their significance, then the story would have an entirely different feel.
Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
“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.”
I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of other realities existing within or parallel to our own, which is probably why I loved this book so much. It opens up the doors to so many possibilities that would otherwise be impossible I our reality, even if some of those possibilities are potentially lethal, which Richard Mayhew is unlucky enough to encounter many of.
I adore the chemistry between Richard and his fellow protagonist, Door, who remains somewhat of an enigma right to the very end. Their relationship is unique in the sense that she is the reason his life gets turned upside down, and yet time and time again, she leaves him to fend for himself. She doesn’t hold his hand and lead him through this foreign world, and she doesn’t beat around the bush when he confronts her about his desire to return to his own reality. And yet, at the same time, she is neither heartless nor unsympathetic to his plight, which makes her even more fascinating as a character.
Without giving too much away, I would have to say that my favourite character in this book is the Marquis de Carabas. He’s one of those characters who, from beginning to end, you’re not entirely sure whether his motives are good or bad, and yet regardless of whichever it may be, you still like him. It’s because he’s so witty, wise and unpredictable, and even though he often acts like he doesn’t care, his actions tend to contradict that.
Even the protagonist is on the rather unique side. I mean, despite having his reality turned inside out, he’s still willing to go along with it all whilst keeping his sanity intact. He wants nothing more than to go back to his normal life, and yet he tries so hard to make himself useful to his group of travelling companions while in the Neverwhere. It’s an endearing trait, as opposed to the protagonist who does nothing except complain about the predicament they’re in and absolutely refuses to accept their situation.
So, if you like quirky characters, strange worlds, delightfully witty bad guys and life or death situations, then like me, you’ll find yourself irresistibly attracted to this book. If you’ve already read it, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, or on my blogs facebook page, and if you haven’t read it, then what are you waiting for! Go grab yourself a copy, and until next time, happy reading!