CR3 #25: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Well, this book has confirmed that I do like Neil Gaiman, and that it’s Terry Pratchett’s fault that I didn’t like Good Omens.

Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew, a dreadfully average Londoner during modern times. He leads a quietly ordinary life until one night he stops to help a girl he sees lying on the sidewalk. Soon, he finds himself trying to survive in “London Below,” a subterranean world full of feudalism, magic, and danger where the people that “London Above” have forgotten wind up. There are rat-speakers, kings, lords, beasts, and angels. Richard is on a quest with the girl, Door, to try and help her avenge the death of her family. He also discovers there is more to life he ever expected.

I loved this book because it was both touching and funny. The plot moved along at a good pace, and all of the characters were interesting. The character of Richard is your standard cubicle-drone–a person whose personality could be easily described as “beige.” He is sort of an Arthur Dent character who is thrown into totally unbelievable circumstances and has to adjust accordingly. His relationship both to Door and to the world around him grows and changes through the story. The secondary characters are also really great, from the antagonists Mr. Croup an Mr. Vandemar, to Old Bailey the Bird Man, to Hunter the bodyguard, to the Marquis de Carabas…a character who walks a fine line between good and shady.

On the whole, this was a great story was a lot of good writing and very funny bits. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a little fantasy now and then.


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