Author: Neil Gaiman
Length: 388 pages
3.5 Stars out of 4
Review by Copra
3½ Stars out of 4
Neil Gaiman, better known for his Sandman-cartoon series, ha written a
lot of differrent stuff during his career: plays, cartoon scripts, short
stories and finally a novel. It is kind of an continuation to his way of
utilising legends and myths in modern day environment, a method he
succesfully used in Sandman. The story was written as television series,
from which Gaiman 'translated' it into a novel.
Neverwhere starts with quite disturbing prologues, which decribe enough
to get the reader going. There isn't much to tell about the plot without
spoiling the excitement and surprises, which wait along the story. In
brief: Main character is a normal man living in London, leading a normal
9 to 5 life and recently engaged with a splendid woman. One night he
stumbles on a wounded girl, and his whole life changes as he is drawn into
the Neverwhere: a world inhabited with outcasts and derelicts, who have
fallen through the gaps of time and space to this wondrous world under
London. Through the same gaps has fallen something else, too: the forgotten
alleys, disused buildings, rooms and furniture. The geography of
Neverwhere is tied into the Underground (London Metro) map and its names.
I have to say, that I was amazed by the richness and life portrayed in
this book. The way Gaiman utilises ancient legend, fairy-tales and myths
is just amazing. It seems that every name has some hidden meaning to it,
and some of these meanings really show later in the book. For example,
one of the main characters is named Marquis de Carabas, which is also
the name of the cat in the fairy tale 'Puss in the Boots'. And the character
is exactly like his fairy-tale counterpart! Gaiman reveals a
strong plot level by level and build up the tension as a master. Plot
thickens and even the last line doesn't leave one cold! To be honest, I
cannot compare this to anything to date. It has the drama, the action,
the humour and the plot, even though it is quite easy to read. If you
are into myths, legends and fairy-tales, and not intimidated by gore and
guts, then you will like this. Even the hardcore fantasy reader will find
this worth reading, as Neverwhere is basically fantasy setting with a twist.
Mostly highly recommended!
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