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Neverwhere: A Novel by [Gaiman, Neil]
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Neverwhere: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,791 customer reviews

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Length: 400 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Gaiman assumes the role of narrator for his latest book, offering an intimate reading that steals one's attention almost immediately and keeps the listener involved throughout. As the story is based in the United Kingdom, Gaiman is a quintessential raconteur for the tale, with his charming Scottish brogue instilling life and spirit into the central character of Richard Mayhew. Pitch perfect, with clear pronunciation, Gaiman invites listeners into his living room for a fireside chat, offering a private and personal experience that transcends the limitations of traditional narration. The author knows his story through and through, capturing the desired emotion and audience reaction in each and every scene. His characters are unique, with diverse personalities and narrative approaches, and Gaiman offers a variety of dialects and tones. The reading sounds more like a private conversation among friends with Gaiman providing the convincing and likable performance the writing deserves. A Harper Perennial paperback (Reviews, May 19, 1997). (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1118 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0380973634
  • Publisher: William Morrow (March 17, 2009)
  • Publication Date: March 17, 2009
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC130E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,702 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Friederike Knabe VINE VOICE on December 5, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Everybody traveling in London by Tube, is familiar with the loudspeaker's warning "Mind the Gap", that is the space between platform and train carriage. Reading Gaiman, "gaps" take on a much more complex meaning... People can fall through the gaps/cracks, literally, not only down onto the rails but much deeper, ending up in "London Below". Richard Mayhew, a young man with nothing much happening in his life, is an unlikely Samaritan. Still, when confronted with a choice he follows his charitable instinct and assists a wounded rag girl he finds lying in the street. To save her from her apparent killers he goes on a quest and from this moment his life turns into a rollercoaster of discovery and danger.

"Neverwhere" is a brilliant yarn of life in the underbelly of the city, with shady human characters, speaking rats and special "guides". There is more than one reality for sure. In London Above, Richard and the rag girl, named appropriately "Door", can be seen but not recalled beyond the moment. The real-life maze of London underground tunnels, hidden passageways and dead ends provide the existent, yet twisted, backdrop to the story. Time and distances have no meaning. The names of tube stations acquire new relevance: the Earl resides at Earl's Court, the black Friar monks are in Blackfriars and Islington is an Angel. Following Door and her unusual companions, Richard discovers the limits of his endurance. He has to question his existence and reality. While his desire to get back to his normal life keeps him going, his chances to shake loose from the shadowy underworld increasingly appear to diminish...

The novel, which expands on Gaiman's successful tv production, is a great read, whether you know London or not (yet). His style is fluid and engaging, his characters are very much alive and moving the various layers of intrigue along at a good pace. [Friederike Knabe]
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before he broke out full time into the world of novel writing Gaiman's reputation mostly rested on a relative handful number of comic books he had written, most notably (though not his best stuff) The Sandman series which showed his ability to toy with fantasy and myth to a near demented degree previously not expected for comic books. At best it was flat out amazing, at worst it was merely pleasant. Name recognition alone probably drove a lot of Gaiman starved Sandman fans to this book but fortunately it has much broader appeal as a contemporary fantasy. In this tale normal guy Richard Mayhew helps a stranger and winds up falling through the cracks into "London Below" a quasi-mystical world that coexists and yet can't be seen by "London Above". Now Richard, with a bizarre cast of comrades has to help the lady Door figure out how killed her family and what it all means, while dodging all sorts of unpleasantness that keeps popping up. The idea of a fantastic dark London overlapping the normal London isn't anything new (DC Comics' Hellblazer went over that concept all the time and "Midnight Nation" applies it to the entire US) but the key to a story like this is imagination which Gaiman has in spades. Every texture of the London Below feels real, and almost every page has some bizarre occurance or some off kilter social commentary disguised as fantasy coming from all sides. He has more good ideas than any man should possibly have and these ideas and his brilliant descriptions are what carry the novel, for the most part, you can read the whole thing like a travelogue and just become immersed in this strange and amazing world.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
In the field of Science-Fiction/Fantasy, there is no greater accomplishment than creating a unique and intriguing universe. Although well-written books, The Hobbit and Foundation are classics less for perfect prose than for the creatures, landscapes and societies they introduced. The appeal of the universe ranges outside books, though. It is why Attack of the Clones grossed millions on its opening day and why a lot of people know more about Marvel Comics than they do about any foreign country.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is a pretty unmistakable attempt at creating a universe. The novel was Gaiman's first major project after finishing the acclaimed Sandman comic series (which could be described as his first universe, but is more of an amalgamation of Biblical scripture, Gaelic and other folk tales and the larger world of DC Comics). Because of Sandman's success, Gaiman is sometimes considered a new Tolkien or Asimov, but he fails to reach his potential on Neverwhere because, despite his ambition, his universe-creating powers at not at a prime.
The universe of this novel is London Below, a dark and outlandish world existing beneath the UK's sprawling capital. It is inhabited by a feudal aristocracy, lonesome warriors and a religious cult that talks to rats. After two ruthless mercenaries slaughter one of London Below's most prominent families, the only survivor, a young woman named Door (for her ability to open mystic gates), escapes to London Above, where reluctant yuppie Richard Mayhew takes her in. Joined by the mordant Marquis de Carabas and a grim female bodyguard called (get this) Hunter, Richard and Door journey through London Below to find-out who ordered the deaths of Door's family and why.
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