By Neil Gaiman
SEPTEMBER 16, 1996 • 440 Pages
This book is SUPERB. In “Neverwhere,” Richard, a painfully average man, meets Door, a young lady who can open, unlock, or create any door going anywhere. Their meeting is a catalyst that thrusts Richard into London Below, a parallel world to London Above. London Below is a fantastical place filled with murderers, monsters, angels, and magical night markets (to name a few).
Together, along with the intriguing Marquis de Carabas and fierce Hunter, they embark on a journey to solve the murder of Door’s family, while trying to avoid their own deaths at hands of two relentless mercenaries.
Despite being 400 pages, “Neverwhere” is fast-paced and captivating. I finished it in two days! I appreciated that there weren’t pages full of exposition, rather I was placed into a fantasy world that didn’t offer much explanations to its peculiarities and yet, I still understood it. The shifting point of view in the book was disorienting at first (similar to how I felt when reading Gaiman’s graphic novel, “The Sandman”) but it became more enjoyable as I got to know the characters and learned more about London Below. It felt very realistic for a very unrealistic world.
One of my gripes, however, is that Richard is sort of a pathetic protagonist. He was annoyingly naive and incompetent for most of the book, & he arguably didn’t have to work hard for anything with his sheer, dumb luck. I also found it frustrating, and a bit creepy, how he responded to nearly every woman he met with some sort of attraction to them (especially Door)— It was like an alarm was going off in his head saying 🚨 ALERT! OPPOSITE SEX IS IN PROXIMITY! STAY COOL! 🚨
He then proceeds to not be cool at all.
Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were a few parts where I actually laughed out loud or gasped. I truly did not suspect who the murderer was.
Neil Gaiman is a master of stories.
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