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Neverwhere

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: London Below (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
24,493567130 (4.09)2 / 1171
Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. HTML:

National Bestseller

Selected as one of NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of All Time

The #1 New York Times bestselling author's wildly successful first novel featuring his new Neverwhere tale, "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back."

Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.

"A fantastic story that is both the stuff of dreams and nightmares" (San Diego Union-Tribune), Neil Gaiman's first solo novel has become a touchstone of urban fantasy, and a perennial favorite of readers everywhere.

"Delightful ... inventively horrific."

??USA Today… (more)

  1. 233
    American Gods {original} by Neil Gaiman (WilliamPascoe)
    WilliamPascoe: Phenominally brilliant fantasy .
  2. 160
    Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (elbakerone)
  3. 2410
    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)
  4. 121
    Un Lun Dun by China Miéville (elbakerone, ahstrick)
  5. 121
    Kraken by China Miéville (fugitive)
    fugitive: Another urban fantasy vision of London.
  6. 100
    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. 101
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (riverwillow)
  8. 80
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll (sturlington)
    sturlington: Neverwhere is a lot like a grown-up's Wonderland, and the two stories have a similar, surrealistic feel.
  9. 40
    Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch (Jannes)
    Jannes: For all your "supernatural secrets in the London underground"-needs.
  10. 84
    Storm Front by Jim Butcher (Polenth)
  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. 30
    The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia (elbakerone, parasolofdoom)
  15. 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.
  16. 31
    The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (Steveh15)
  17. 20
    Gog by Andrew Sinclair (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Fantasy mixing late 20th century London with fairytale, myth and menace.
  18. 31
    The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (MsMaryAnn)
  19. 20
    The Water Room by Christopher Fowler (benfulton)
    benfulton: Explorations of the hidden parts of London.
  20. 42
    The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar (themephi)

(see all 45 recommendations)

Ghosts (21)
1990s (102)
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» See also 1171 mentions

English (549)  German (5)  Italian (2)  Finnish (2)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (569)
Showing 1-5 of 549 (next | show all)
This *was* my first time with Neverwhere, and I understand this iteration has its limitations (and some people’s enjoyment is severely curtailed by audio device speakers, such as phones). Nonetheless, with the blessing of a fantastic audio system in my car, this was *thoroughly* enjoyable. I loved the casting. Benedict Cumberbatch as Islington is perfection. 5 easy stars from me.
( )
  avanders | Nov 28, 2023 |
A fantasy adventure romp through a shadowy London. Lots of nice touches, well constructed, with fun well defined characters. It's well written, but does have lots of Gaimanesque flourishes, which can be a little distracting. But not too distracting. A good holiday read - fairly frivolous, but with enough to keep your mind turning over, and fun to boot. ( )
  thisisstephenbetts | Nov 25, 2023 |
I didn't like this book until *after* I finished it. I really hated everything about it, actually. Neil Gaiman - and Orson Scott Card, for that matter - are amazing at concept, but I find their characters to be painfully flat, with a few exceptions (Card's Enchantment, Gaiman's Anansi Boys). So I end up mesmerized by the world, but not really caring what happens within it, yet the writing's still good enough that I'm willing to labor through. In the case of Neverwhere, for some reason the story didn't really sink in for me until after I shut the book. It all gelled together and suddenly I could appreciate it. Not really jumping at the bit to pick it up again, though. ( )
  nilaffle | Nov 6, 2023 |
A very enjoyable read (listen, really) — read by the author himself. ( )
  claidheamdanns | Sep 26, 2023 |
One of the best fantasy books I've ever read - almost as good as the Lord of the Rings, in my humble opinion. A whole universe started and finished in a single book - Neil Gaiman for you, ladies and gentlemen! ( )
  SidKhanooja | Sep 1, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 549 (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
 

» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Althoff, Gerlindesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berggren, Hanssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Braiter, PaulinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Alessandro, JaimeAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fabry, GlennIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Faerna, MónicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Halperin, AmyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hohl, TinaTranslatorsecondary 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.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. HTML:

National Bestseller

Selected as one of NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of All Time

The #1 New York Times bestselling author's wildly successful first novel featuring his new Neverwhere tale, "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back."

Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.

"A fantastic story that is both the stuff of dreams and nightmares" (San Diego Union-Tribune), Neil Gaiman's first solo novel has become a touchstone of urban fantasy, and a perennial favorite of readers everywhere.

"Delightful ... inventively horrific."

??USA Today

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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.
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Average: (4.09)
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