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Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
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Neverwhere (1996)

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
19,68444582 (4.1)1 / 1044
  1. 202
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (WilliamPascoe)
    WilliamPascoe: Phenominally brilliant fantasy .
  2. 269
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Although Neverwhere and The Hitchhiker's Guide (THHG) are different genres (the first is urban fantasy, the second comic science-fiction) I felt there was a lot of similarity between the characters of Richard Mayhew (in Neverwhere) and Arthur Dent (in THHG). Both are a kind of everyman with whom the reader can identify and both embody a certain 'Britishness'. And they're both stonkingly good books by British authors.… (more)
  3. 150
    Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (elbakerone)
  4. 112
    Un Lun Dun by China Miéville (elbakerone, ahstrick)
  5. 101
    Kraken: An Anatomy by China Miéville (fugitive)
    fugitive: Another urban fantasy vision of London.
  6. 90
    Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (riverwillow)
    riverwillow: Both 'Neverwhere' and 'Rivers of London' (US title 'Midnight Riot') evoke a magical fairy tale London which sometimes feels more authentic then any real life guide to the city.
  7. 91
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (riverwillow)
  8. 113
    Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett (Pigletto)
  9. 70
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass and Alice's Adventures Under Ground by Lewis Carroll (sturlington)
    sturlington: Neverwhere is a lot like a grown-up's Wonderland, and the two stories have a similar, surrealistic feel.
  10. 127
    The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (derelicious)
  11. 61
    Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green (Phantasma)
    Phantasma: The nightside novels are a little darker, but if you like the ideas presented in Neverwhere, you'll most likely enjoy the Nightside (actually, I prefer the Nightside and it's gritty dark humor).
  12. 84
    Storm Front by Jim Butcher (Polenth)
  13. 40
    Gloriana by Michael Moorcock (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Both fantasy titles explore the seedy underbelly of London, one in Tudor times, the other more recently in London Below.
  14. 30
    The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (MsMaryAnn)
  15. 30
    Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch (Jannes)
    Jannes: For all your "supernatural secrets in the London underground"-needs.
  16. 30
    The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia (elbakerone, parasolofdoom)
  17. 42
    The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar (themephi)
  18. 20
    Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky (Navarone)
  19. 20
    Gog by Andrew Sinclair (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Fantasy mixing late 20th century London with fairytale, myth and menace.
  20. 20
    The Mysteries by Lisa Tuttle (ehines)
    ehines: Regular guy stumbles into the secret realm. In Neverwhere this secret realm is very much a London one; in the Mysteries it is decidedly an old Celtic one. Also Never where turns into a full-blown fantasy adventure, while the Mysteries stays mostly realistic.

(see all 45 recommendations)

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English (430)  German (5)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (2)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All (1)  All (447)
Showing 1-5 of 430 (next | show all)
Oh Neil, what happened here? I never expected to read anything by you that didn't absolutely blow me away, but this book, while being a page-turner, and having a fantastic end and a great villain, felt sterile and soulless in comparison to all of your other work. I think a lot of that can be attributed to the shallow world-building that's at play. London-below and the characters that inhabit it were given neither enough time nor enough explanation to resonate with me, and the two lackeys of the main villain, Mr. Coop and Mr. Vandemar, just seemed so...random, and out of place. In fact, that's a perfect way to describe a lot of the stuff in this book: random and out of place. Definitely still worth a read, just don't expect it to stick with you after the fact. ( )
  ForeverMasterless | Apr 23, 2017 |
It was a good book. I'm glad I have read it. Gaiman created a fantastic world. But for me, something is missing to give it a higher grade. And the biggest problem I have with the book is that the characters felt a bit flat. I just didn't care much for anyone of them. A great book makes you care for the characters, suffer with them all the way, and mourn for them if something happens. It just didn't happen with me with this book. ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
Writers like Neil Gaiman who give us books like Neverwhere, American Gods, or Good omens, are a blessing and bloody annoyance at the same time. You read their books and they swipe to a land of magic and fantasy. You spend the entire book thinking "How did he think of that? well, yeah I know it's his job, but still, how?" and you keep at this through the entire book, and suddenly it's done.
"Now what?" You say to yourself. What can top that?
well, you poor idiot, nothing will top that!
Books like these come once or twice a year if you are lucky.
Another thing Neil Gaiman does in most of his books, he doesn't care if you love the protagonist. He makes you fall in love with secondary characters, that he keeps for himself. What's up with that Neil?
Like the Marquis De Carabas, you'll love him but you won't have that much of him in the book. Instead, you will read about Richard the lost idiot.
Still, it's an amazing book. One of my favourites.
If you are not a Neil Gaiman fan, you will definitely be after this one.
Enjoy! ( )
  Dohakoma | Apr 6, 2017 |
(7/10) An enjoyable read, I thought it was a very imaginative concept and I loved the characters from London Below. I found parts of it (particularly the Earl's Court) very funny and had no trouble keeping up with it.

There were two reasons I didn't rate it higher, firstly I didn't like the main character, I thought he was a bit of an idiot to be honest which made it hard to care about him. Secondly, while I loved the concept of a separate world below London I didn't feel like it was explored enough, for such a bold idea this really only scratched the surface of possibilities and does lend itself to being a series rather than a stand alone novel.

Aside from those grumbles though I loved the humour, very eccentric with some typical British sarcasm. I loved all of the characters from London Below, they were so vivid they jumped right off the page and I could have spent hours reading chapters just about them and how The Underside worked.

If he ever wrote a sequel I would definitely read it in the hope that I got to see more of London Below and that Richard might have grown up a bit and stopped being such a naïve twit! ( )
  LiteraryReadaholic | Mar 8, 2017 |
Wonderful Urban Fantasy, by the Master, Neil Gaiman.
Has been compared to Alice in Wonderland, but to do it justice, it goes further.
An assortment of unforgettable characters, good vs evil story, London Below vs London Above, and how sometimes we discover by accident (or not) where we really belong.
Alice in Wonderland for Adults, indeed.
Enjoyable. ( )
1 vote sogamonk | Feb 4, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 430 (next | show all)
Gaiman blends history and legend to fashion a traditional tale of good versus evil, replete with tarnished nobility, violence, wizardry, heroism, betrayal, monsters and even a fallen angel. The result is uneven. His conception of London Below is intriguing, but his characters are too obviously symbolic (Door, for example, possesses the ability to open anything). Also, the plot seems a patchwork quilt of stock fantasy images. Adapted from Gaiman's screenplay for a BBC series, this tale would work better with fewer words and more pictures.
added by Shortride | editPublishers Weekly (May 19, 1997)
 
One of my favorite Gaiman novels. Urban / fantasy / horror featuring a London Above and a London Below. Creepy and atmospheric rather than traditional horror although there are a few graphic bits.

An Everyman accidentally opens a door into a parallel Lo Don pursued by two nasty assassins. Misters Croup and Vandemar are two of my favorite fictional baddies.

Good late night / rainy day reading...the below London market is an amazing creation
 
Gaiman's gift for mixing the absurd with the frightful give this novel the feeling of a bedtime story with adult sophistication. Readers will find themselves as unable to escape this tale as the characters themselves.
 
The novel is consistently witty, suspenseful, and hair-raisingly imaginative in its contemporary transpositions of familiar folk and mythic materials (one can read Neverwhere as a postmodernist punk Faerie Queene). Readers who've enjoyed the fantasy work of Tim Powers and William Browning Spencer won't want to miss this one. And, yes, Virginia, there really are alligators in those sewers--and Gaiman makes you believe it.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews
 
The millions who know The Sandman, the spectacularly successful graphic novel series Gaiman writes, will have a jump start over other fantasy fans at conjuring the ambience of his London Below, but by no means should those others fail to make the setting's acquaintance. It is an Oz overrun by maniacs and monsters, and it becomes a Shangri-La for Richard. Excellent escapist fare.
added by Shortride | editBooklist, Ray Olson
 

» Add other authors (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Althoff, Gerlindesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berggren, Hanssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bickman, KelliAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Braiter, PaulinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fabry, GlennIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Halperin, AmyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hohl, Tinasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kivimäki, MikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcel, Patricksecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mcginnis, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKean, DaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Osyczka, DanEndpaper mapsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pék, ZoltánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rijsewijk, Erica vansecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Villa, ElisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vojtková, LadislavaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I have never been to St. John's Wood. I dare not. I should be afraid of the innumerable night of fir trees, afraid to come upon a blood red cup and the beating of the wings of the Eagle.
--The Napoleon of Notting Hill, G. K. Chesterton
If ever though gavest hosen or shoon
Then every night and all
Sit thou down and put them on
And Christ receive thy soul

This aye night, this aye night
Every night and all
Fire and fleet and candlelight
And Christ receive thy soul

If ever thou gavest meat or drink
Then every night and all
The fire shall never make thee shrink
And Christ receive thy soul

--The Lyke Wake Dirge (traditional)
Dedication
For Lenny Henry, friend and colleague, who made it happen all the way; and Merrilee Heifetz, friend and agent, who makes everything good.
First words
The night before he went to London, Richard Mayhew was not enjoying himself.
She had been running for four days now, a harum-scarum tumbling flight through passages and tunnels.
Quotations
"It starts with doors."
"You've a good heart," she told him. "Sometimes that's enough to see you safe wherever you go." Then she shook her head. "But mostly, it's not."
There are four simple ways for the observant to tell Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar apart: first, Mr. Vandemar is two and a half heads taller than Mr. Croup; secnod, Mr. Croup has eyes of a faded china blue, while Mr. Vandemar's eyes are brown; third, while Mr. Vandemar fashioned the rings he wears on his right hand out of the skulls of four ravens, Mr. Croup has no obvious jewelry; fourth, Mr. Croup likes words, while Mr. Vandemar is always hungry. Also, they look nothing at all alike.
He continued, slowly, by a process of osmosis and white knowledge (which is like white noise, only more useful)...
It was a good place, and a fine city, but there is a price to be paid for all good places, and a price that all good places have to pay.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is main work for the book Neverwhere. It should not be combined with the TV series on which it is based.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew and his adventures through London. At the start of the story, he is a young businessman, with a normal life. All this changes, however, when he stops to help a mysterious young girl who appears before him, bleeding and weakened, as he walks with his fiancée to dinner to meet her influential boss.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060557818, Paperback)

Neverwhere's protagonist, Richard Mayhew, learns the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished. He ceases to exist in the ordinary world of London Above, and joins a quest through the dark and dangerous London Below, a shadow city of lost and forgotten people, places, and times. His companions are Door, who is trying to find out who hired the assassins who murdered her family and why; the Marquis of Carabas, a trickster who trades services for very big favors; and Hunter, a mysterious lady who guards bodies and hunts only the biggest game. London Below is a wonderfully realized shadow world, and the story plunges through it like an express passing local stations, with plenty of action and a satisfying conclusion. The story is reminiscent of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but Neil Gaiman's humor is much darker and his images sometimes truly horrific. Puns and allusions to everything from Paradise Lost to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz abound, but you can enjoy the book without getting all of them. Gaiman is definitely not just for graphic-novel fans anymore. --Nona Vero

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:19 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

After he helps a stranger on a London sidewalk, Richard Mayhew discovers an alternate city beneath London, and must fight to survive if he is to return to the London he knew.

» see all 7 descriptions

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