Under the streets of London…
its 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.
I had never ever read anything by Neil Gaiman before this book. I had seen Stardust, Coraline, and Mirror Mask and enjoyed the mere glimpse that I had into Gaiman’s mind. There really was no reason for me to not pick a Gaiman novel up. So why didnt i?
The answer to this is I simply do not know. Its quite baffling really. As Im sure Mr Gaiman will be if he ever reads this. Baffled.
There has been many a time where this moustached man from Kernow has seen a Gaiman novel glinting at him in a book shop window and I simply have not taking the plunge, so to speak, and picked it up. Baffling.
Anyhoo. I finally made the brave decision to read a Gaiman and chose Neverwhere to start with this is the adaptation of the tv series of the same name that also passed me by.
Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew, a young man who moves from Scotland to the big smoke of London. Richard is stuck in a rut doing the whole nine to five thang and being bossed around by his fiancee and the only sense of freedom this chap has is being able to collect trolls (not the things that live under bridges but the plastic cute things with the luminous hair) and this he only started because he came across one by accident. Or perhaps Richard is good at finding things?
Like the day that changed his life forever when he found an injured girl on the street that seemingly came from nowhere. Thus changing our protagonists life forever.
Gaiman’s world of London Below is a dangerous one in which its inhabitants could sell you a nightmare in The Floating Market (which changes destination everytime) or the darkness could carry you off over Night’s Bridge. But in a lot of ways Gaiman’s London Below exhibits a wonder and sense of magic that cannot be found in London Above.
Richard’s life changes and he becomes one of those that falls through the cracks faded from the existence of normal life. He goes in search of the girl he rescued. The young lady named Door who coincidentally can open any door even if its locked. Door, with the help of the the eccentric and enigmatic, Marquis de Carabas go on the hunt for the killers of Door’s family, aided by the warrior Hunter and young Richard tagging along behind. We meet a whole bunch of colourful and unforgettable characters in Neverwhere and I honestly could not pick a favourite as they are all brilliant.
I honestly devoured this book (not literally because that would give me indigestion) and I dont think it will be long before I give it a re-read. Its such a feel good read and Im reckoning there will be so many things that fell through the cracks (see what I did there?) the first time I read it.
I really couldnt give this book enough praise and Im really looking forward to my next read of a Gaiman novel. I am a believer.