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Neverwhere

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: London Below (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
21,624501111 (4.11)1 / 1134
Richard Mayhew's life is forever changed after he rescues a young girl named Door and finds himself living in a city of monsters, saints, murderers, and angels, and he must help Door on her mission to save this strange underworld kingdom from destruction.
  1. 222
    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. 111
    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. 91
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (riverwillow)
  8. 80
    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.
  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 Underground 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 (23)
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English (481)  German (5)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Finnish (2)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (500)
Showing 1-5 of 481 (next | show all)
Sometimes, timing is everything about appreciating a book, or not. In this case it's the not. It's a dark inventive journey through scenes of a nightmare - but, as a base it's got the nice guy with well, niceness going for him, and the obligatory controlling bitch girlfriend who encounters the (manic pixie) dream girl who leads him to excitement. So Door isn't a total MPDG, but she's opal eyed as her most distinctive feature and opening is her something special but she's not otherwise as interesting as the character "actors" of the ensemble, and Richard is, well, persistently nice, which has been severely re-coded in it's meaning since the mid-90s. That Richard's niceness isn't a shallow cover and Door has real problems, goals and abilities doesn't entirely excuse it for riding an trope that's since had it's ugly underbelly exposed. ( )
  quondame | Jul 10, 2020 |
brilliant, different, magical, underground, all the words ( )
  goliathonline | Jul 7, 2020 |
Re-imagining London through London Below in such an inventive way. You'll never think of a tube station in quite the same way after reading this. ( )
  misterebby | Jul 5, 2020 |
I enjoyed this after a bit. The first 30 to 40 percent I found slow. But the book picks up momentum and I liked how we get to see more of the London Below via other characters when we're not following the main characters of Richard and Door.

Richard Mayhew finds himself helping a young woman one night and it changes his life forever. Without realizing it, helping the woman named Door will cost Richard his life as he knows it when he finds himself pushed out of his reality. Being lost about what to do, Richard goes looking for Door and finds out about London Below.

I liked Richard though I found him to be a little slow on the uptake sometimes. But I think that Gaiman did a good job of having a readers see things through Richard's eyes.

This book is told in the third person, and we get to follow a number of characters around. We have the Lady Door, the Marquis, and a woman called Hunter who's the best hunter in London Below. When Door goes on a quest to figure out who killed her family and why these four characters end up going on a series of mini-quests.

I kind of like how Gaiman mixes history in this book along with some cultural significance to people who are from Britain

The writing was good, but as I said above, the flow was off for me for a good portion of the book.

The setting was awesome and I found myself interested in finding out more about those who live in London Below.

The ending felt a bit anti-climatic to me. But all in all, this was a pretty good story. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
The audiobook was excellent! I would recommend this to people who liked Harry Potter and are now adults. Richard mysteriously becomes entrapped in London Below - another part of London which is dark and supernatural and, like the Wizarding World from Harry Potter, operates separately but intertwined with our world. ( )
  HonestlyHolle | Jun 21, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 481 (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 (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, NeilAuthorprimary 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.
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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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