Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Richard Mayhew is a business man living an average existence in London when suddenly, one random act of kindness catapults him into a world he never knew existed….London Below. One minute Richard and his fiancé are on their way to a dinner meeting and the next, he’s helping a very injured and bleeding woman. Much to his fiancé’s chagrin, Richard decides to bring the woman, Door, to his apartment while he figures out the best way to help her. Shortly after, Richard is visited by two very strange and dangerous men who are looking for the mysterious woman and who seem to be quite certain that she’s in Richard’s apartment.
When Door realizes that these men know where she is, she has no choice but to accept Richard’s help in getting her to safety. Even though Richard doesn’t realize it at the time, him helping Door sets forth a series of events that will change the world as he knows it forever. Richard must make his way through the secret and underground world of London Below…where he will join a city of monsters and saints, murderers and helpers, knights in armor and pale girls in black velvet. This London is the city of people who live in the shadows.
“Young man,” he said, “understand this: there are two Londons. There’s London Above – that’s where you lived – and then there’s London Below – the Underside – inhabited by the people who fell through the cracks in the world. Now you’re one of them. Good night.”
This book is just too much fun! I am a relatively newer fan of Neil Gaiman so this is only my third novel of his…but it’s likely my favorite so far. Neverwhere is sort of like a modern day, more adult version of Alice in Wonderland….and it’s just so incredibly imaginative, creative and entertaining. The cast of characters is nothing short of amazing….they are all so unique and so well written, you can’t help but have multiple favorites. I actually purposely read this book at a bit of a slower pace, alternating between it another book…just so I could remain in this world a bit longer. I didn’t want it to end, but when it finally HAD to come to a close, the story left me feeling so glad that I got to be a part of the world and the characters in it. The fantasy genre as a whole is not one that I read often, but I do love Neil Gaiman and will definitely be reading more of his work.
Even if you don’t find yourself usually gravitating to the fantasy genre (I am a newer found fan of it, myself), I think this is one you can still appreciate. Gaiman books are like adult fairy tales and they are always a fun, wild ride.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars