Book Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

3.5 out of 5 stars

“Richard watched with respect as the gray water rushed and tumbled, within arm’s reach. This was not the kind of river you fell into and got out of again; it was the other kind.”

6479879Neverwhere was a very fun book. This is the second book that I’ve read by Neil Gaiman and I enjoyed it even more than the first (the first was The Ocean at the End of the Lane).

This story follows Richard Mayhew, a businessman living in London, as his life takes a very strange turn. After attempting to help an injured woman he meets on the street one night, Richard’s life begins to “fall through the cracks”. Under the city of London exists an alter-reality called London Below and Richard must go on a quest in London Below in order to find answers to his own questions and to help his new-found friends.

The book is full of colorful characters with quirky habits. It borders on scary at times but then there are moments of comic relief that add that touch of whimsy back in. Croup and Vandemar, although they are supposed to be the villains from the start, often had me laughing throughout with their ridiculous statements.

“‘What,’ asked Mr. Croup, ‘do you want?’ ‘What,’ asked the Marquis de Carabas, a little more rhetorically, ‘does anyone want?’ ‘Dead things,’ suggested Mr. Vandemar. ‘Extra teeth.'”

On the whole, I really enjoyed this book. It was suspenseful and fast-moving. I didn’t see the twist coming at the end.

I would recommend this book for anyone that likes fantasy. Gaiman builds a subterranean London that rivals other fantasy worlds. The characters in Neverwhere are fascinating and unique. The book is a quick and engulfing read.

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5 thoughts on “Book Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

  1. Glad you enjoyed it! I bought this book off the back of reading The bone season, The night circus, and Time travellers wife – I needed more fantastical realism, contemporary fantasy, whatever’s it called I needed more – after a long and lovely chat with the people in Waterstones we came to the conclusion that this book was the way to go. I bought it, brought it home, and … That was it. Two years later, I still hadn’t read it, it was collecting dust and taking up space so it was unhauled. I’m wondering if I made a mistake …

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    • I actually just finished reading The Mime Order, the second book in The Bone Season trilogy. I’ll be posting a review of that on the blog soon. I gave The Mime Order 4 stars. I think Neverwhere falls short for me after reading The Mime Order. I am really loving that trilogy so far and am really looking forward to the release of next book. Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere is really much funnier whereas in The Mime Order, the danger is always very real and threatening I think. I would recommend reading it though if you like fantasy, especially if you like the whimsical type of fantasy! 🙂

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      • The Mime Order is fantastic, I love that series … It’s definitely in my top three … Ooo, I’ll keep an eye out for it (I think I’m following you already but if not I’ll make sure I am). Mmm, that maybe why I struggled. It’s hard picking up another book after a fantastic one, maybe I should have kept it 🙂

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      • Well, you can always loan it from the library and see if it suits your tastes. 🙂

        I think Neil Gaiman has a very distinct style. I also own American Gods by him so I am looking forward to reading that one soon and Stardust is available from my library in kindle format so I will probably eventually get to that one too. His books are really a great escape from reality!

        BTW – just checked out your blog. That Edinburgh post! Love!

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