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Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Neverwhere (original 1996; edition 2005)

by Neil Gaiman

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18,02338695 (4.11)1 / 919
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:Headline Review (2005), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:library books read

Work details

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (1996)

Recently added byprivate library, harangar, angelista, tfcred, AmbitiousLemon, Chillbro, marybrett, JLStanfield
  1. 172
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (WilliamPascoe)
    WilliamPascoe: Phenominally brilliant fantasy .
  2. 249
    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. 140
    Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (elbakerone)
  4. 101
    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. 113
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett (Pigletto)
  7. 60
    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.
  8. 60
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (riverwillow)
  9. 60
    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. 117
    The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (derelicious)
  11. 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.
  12. 51
    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).
  13. 30
    Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky (Navarone)
  14. 74
    Storm Front by Jim Butcher (Polenth)
  15. 20
    The High House (Aspect Fantasy) by James Stoddard (PitcherBooks)
    PitcherBooks: Both books have a wonderfully eerie claustrophobic mythic fantasy otherworld through which the hero/heroines must journey. And both are five star books. High House predates Neverwhere.
  16. 20
    Gog by Andrew Sinclair (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Fantasy mixing late 20th century London with fairytale, myth and menace.
  17. 20
    Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch (Jannes)
    Jannes: For all your "supernatural secrets in the London underground"-needs.
  18. 42
    The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar (themephi)
  19. 20
    The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia (elbakerone)
  20. 21
    A Madness of Angels: Or, the Resurrection of Matthew Swift by Kate Griffin (martlet, readhead)

(see all 41 recommendations)


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English (369)  German (5)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (2)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (386)
Showing 1-5 of 369 (next | show all)
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 charcters, suffer with them all the way, and mourn for them if something happens. It just didn't happen with me with this book. ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 11, 2014 |
Richard Mayhew is an entirely uninteresting cube dweller leading a tepid life of ordinary expectations in London. Richard is betrothed to a women, Jessica, who calls the shots -- someone he met at an art expo and who he led to believe he is an art connoisseur -- when in fact he ambivalent at best. The two of them are on their way to a restaurant to meet her boss when a bloody girl appears out of nowhere and falls at Richard's feet. In a hurry, Jessica wants to just leave her to become someone else's problem, but Richard can't do that and despite Jessica's anger he takes the girl back to his apartment when she insists he not take her to a hospital. Moments later, he is visited by a strange couple - Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar, two assassins looking to finish the job they started. The young girl, Door, is nowhere to be found when they search Richard's apartment.

Door recovers, and tries to dismiss Richard but he follows her anyway. He enters a world of "London Underground", populated by the sort of denizens that are all but invisible to those above. Rats are revered and even spoken to; there are sill some feudal structures and even an Angel. Richard becomes one of them, forgotten by those above, even Jessica. In a world where life and death have no particular attachment, he must learn how to survive.

The pacing of the book was good until the end, it lingered too long after the climatic scene. The audiobook was read by Gaiman himself, and he a superb reader providing a lot of atmosphere. ( )
  JeffV | Nov 30, 2014 |
A Neil Gaiman story is always a treat. A Neil Gaimain story told by James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Natalie Dormer, Christopher Lee, Anthony Head and an entire cast is auditory divinity. First and foremost, their obvious joy at participating in such an experience is palpable. They are having a blast in their performances, and a listener cannot help but react favorably to their obvious excitement and happiness. Then, there is the pleasure of hearing Mr. Gaiman’s characters come to life. They are every bit as wacky, dark, and funny as one expects characters from Mr. Gaiman’s mind to be. Between the dark and twisty story, the superb sound effects, and the excellent cast, the BBC production of Neverwhere is about as good an audiobook can get. ( )
  jmchshannon | Nov 30, 2014 |
Gain an shows some true mastery of both creepy scenes And a world below a world. It's a pretty compelling story of mystery and phelps get one another. I really started to see the amazing people all around ( )
  Lorem | Nov 28, 2014 |
Neverwhere starts with a somewhat drag, meek, middle manager, Richard Mayhew, passively engaged to a domineering snooty woman, and drifting through the trials of London life - until, that is, he meets Door. She appears, as if out of nowhere, badly injured, and while his fiancée callously urges him to ignore the apparent tramp, he instead takes her in his arms and carries her to his flat. This plunges him into a supernatural, dangerous underworld below the streets of London, where he goes on somewhat Arthurian quests and lives a far braver, more vivid life, than he previously did in the world above.

Here, London, a city steeped in history, is such a rich backdrop it is almost a character in its own right. All those places in London we perceive as little more than tube stops become alive. There really is an Angel at Islington, for instance, and there really are Black Friars at Blackfriars. In this way, Neverwhere reminded me distinctly of American Gods, where the main characters were also generated from half forgotten myths and historical stories.

The rich gothic fantasy atmosphere, peppered with incisive little psychological observations, along with a riveting, incredibly imaginative story, made this for me another classic Gaiman novel. ( )
  RachDan | Nov 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 369 (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)
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
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.
added by Shortride | editLibrary Journal

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Althoff, Gerlindesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berggren, Hanssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Braiter, PaulinaTł.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fabry, GlennIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hohl, Tinasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kivimäki, MikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcel, Patricksecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKean, DaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pék, ZoltánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rijsewijk, Erica vansecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Villa, ElisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vojtková, LadislavaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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)
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.
"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 (3)

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:47 -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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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