2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
...he inspected, with magnificent disdain, the half-eaten kitten and the heap of razor blades...,
This review is from: Neverwhere (Paperback)
Neverwhere is probably the best fantasy Gaiman has written. It is funny, sharp, witty at times, and imagines a great city below London that sizzles with historical authenticity. The book begins with young Richard Mayhew and his fiancée Jessica who are late for a meeting with Jessica's boss when Richard pauses to help a girl bleeding on a pavement - as you would. But this girl insists she can't go to hospital and that someone is after her. Richard's life is about to skew right out of left-field when he picks her up and takes her home, much to Jessica's disgust. This is Door - the girl, that is, so called because she can open them - with her mind. Door is the daughter of Lord Portico, lately deceased, whose aim it was to unite the lower Londoners, about whom we are about to learn a great deal. All of Door's family except her were killed, by, we learn, Mr Vandemar and Mr Croup, and a nastier pair you wouldn't want to meet. Here is part of their introduction:
"Mr Vandemar pulled the rat from the blade and began to munch on it, thoughtfully, head first. Mr Croup slapped it out of his hands. `Stop that', he said. Mr Vandemar put his knife away a little sullenly. `Buck up,' hissed Mr Croup, encouragingly, "There will always be another rat. Now: onward. Things to do. People to damage.'"
Luckily Richard and Door have two super-heroes, of a kind, to help them. There is the Hunter, who is beautifully caramel all over and lives to meet and kill her bÍte noir, the beast at the heart of the labyrinth, and the Marquis de Carabas (who *must* be played by Johnny Depp in the film which will surely be made of this book) - but the quest is to find the angel Islington (who is a real angel) and on the way meet up with the Earl's Court and the Black Friars. Only one thing struck me as a pity - that Gaiman didn't find a way to use the Elephant and Castle.
Still, the quest is the thing. At the end Richard learns he can never go back to the real London, and then he gets a chance to do just that. Which London will he choose, and which would you choose?