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Neverwhere

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: London Below (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
23,075542118 (4.1)1 / 1159
A man goes to the aid of woman pursued by assassins and discovers an alternative City of London, a subterranean, medieval world populated by "people who fell through the cracks" from the real city above. A fantasy tale, replete with demons and wizards. By the author of The Sandman.
  1. 232
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (WilliamPascoe)
    WilliamPascoe: Phenominally brilliant fantasy .
  2. 160
    Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (elbakerone)
  3. 2510
    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. 84
    Storm Front by Jim Butcher (Polenth)
  10. 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.
  11. 40
    Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch (Jannes)
    Jannes: For all your "supernatural secrets in the London underground"-needs.
  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. 20
    The Water Room by Christopher Fowler (benfulton)
    benfulton: Explorations of the hidden parts of London.
  17. 31
    The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (Steveh15)
  18. 20
    Gog by Andrew Sinclair (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Fantasy mixing late 20th century London with fairytale, myth and menace.
  19. 42
    The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar (themephi)
  20. 20
    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (Headinherbooks_27, Headinherbooks_27)

(see all 45 recommendations)

Ghosts (21)
1990s (193)
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» See also 1159 mentions

English (521)  German (6)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (2)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (542)
Showing 1-5 of 521 (next | show all)
I only gave this three stars because it is derivative of so many epic quest/journey/growing up stories. I liked the story and the characters were well drawn and I found myself always wondering what was going to happen next so once I finally got into the book I charged through the second half. It was a well written fun read. I don't really have much more to say other than I liked the ending because we all know nobody really wants to go back to Kansas. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
Since I discovered Neil Gaiman with [b:American Gods|30165203|American Gods (American Gods, #1)|Neil Gaiman|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1462924585s/30165203.jpg|1970226], it's kind of noticeable that this was the first solo novel, and never you mind whatever correction were made for APT edition.

That is not to say the book isn't amazing.
It's lovely, and I'm very much looking forward to coming back to London Below.

I did feel like the start was a touch unpolished. And the writing does rapidly improve - at some point I could hear most of the character voices. Islington, for example, had a very distinct voice from the first introduction onward. (btw, this hearing voices thing does not happen to me too often, and only with high quality reads)

This book is an adventure of the most wonderful and terrible kind both. And I cannot adequately express in words the depth of my affection for this gem. ( )
  QuirkyCat_13 | Jun 20, 2022 |
Neil Gaiman has real magic. His prose is enchanted and his ability to connect fantasy to reality is pure alchemy. In Neverwhere, the tube station Earl’s Court is the royal court of an Earl, Knightsbridge is a journey though the darkest of nights, and Down Street is a precarious journey down an ornate spiral path. Just below the surface of London, is ‘London Below,’ a fantasy world filled with strange places, people, and creatures. Poor Richard Meyhew is pulled into the underworld, due to an act of compassion. And once, you fall into Neverwhere, it’s nearly impossible to leave.

What’s truly fantastic about this book, is that it’s a novelization of a 1996 TV Series which originally aired on BBC Two. I feel a bit of shame that I had never heard of the TV Series. It had six episodes, each with thirty minutes of running time. Both the book and the TV series were released in 1996.

Gaiman has the imagination of child, but the storytelling of an elder. He has created a world where anything can happen, and evil is everywhere. It’s part “Alice in Wonderland,” part “Wizard of Oz,” and part “Odyssey.” Few authors excel with plot, prose, and characters, but Gaiman delivered on all three. He also slips in a bit of Douglas Adams/Terry Pratchett English wit, for which I’m a total sucker!

A fanciful journey into a magical world that exists just outside of our reality, filled with memorable characters, distinct locales, and dangerous adventure. Five radiant, levitating, and mesmerizing stars. ( )
  Kevin_A_Kuhn | Jun 15, 2022 |
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (1998) ( )
  sharibillops | May 20, 2022 |
He's writing is so sparkling and unexpected that it usually makes up for momentary lapses of the story. Which is, by the way, fine and unusual and dark just like you'd expect from him. But from time to time, I have this feeling that he does not really know where he's going with the tale, that he invents things as he goes along. And he often introduces characters that seem so interesting and fresh and seem to be getting an important role but then they disappear after a few pages.

I liked the book anyway. And I'd recommend it. ( )
  Faltiska | Apr 30, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 521 (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 (11 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
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.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

A man goes to the aid of woman pursued by assassins and discovers an alternative City of London, a subterranean, medieval world populated by "people who fell through the cracks" from the real city above. A fantasy tale, replete with demons and wizards. By the author of The Sandman.

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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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