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book reviewbook reviewbook reviewbook review Book Review: Neverwhere Author: Neil Gaiman
Length: 388 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Awards: None

Overall Rating: 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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