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Neverwhere
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 12 July 2017
This kindle edition is the definitive text, which like me if you do still have for instance the first edition that came out when this was first published, you will notice some differences. Although originally conceived as a TV series Neil Gaiman wanted to write a novel of it where he could expand upon certain themes and add pieces that were cut from the television series.

So welcome to London Below, a place under London teeming with life, and with some quite noticeable differences. When Richard Mayhew walks down the road one night with his fiancée, Jessica so he tries to give aid to a girl who seems distressed – thus starting him off on an adventure that he will never forget, and one that could change his life. The girl is called Door, and her family being killed and herself in danger she needs assistance to find out what is going on.

With a host of unforgettable characters we have the rather nasty but somehow quite enjoyable Mr Croup and Mr Vandemar, along with an earl’s court held in an Underground train carriage, as well as an old man called Old Bailey, an angel called Islington, and the Marquis de Carabas to name a few. Some people can talk to rats and it is best not to ask what meat it is in meals when you buy them off a stall.

Gaiman wanted to create something like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ for a more mature audience, and it can be argued that not only has he done that with this but also he created a world that is something that you really want to visit, especially if you can have a look around the Floating Market. I must admit that I am not a massive fan of Neil Gaiman, but this is one of those books of his that I always enjoy reading.
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on 25 April 2017
A gripping yarn which never gets dull for a moment. A cast of wonderful, memorable characters inhabit the dark and sinister world of London Below....Gaiman is a splendid storyteller, and his imagination is dark and complex and clever. I read The Graveyard Book with my 10 year old, and we both enjoyed it so much that I followed up with this one. My only very slight criticism is that some of the characters could be more fully developed. Its a visual imagination feast, begging to be a film...but the characters leave me slightly unsatisfied.
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VINE VOICEon 8 October 2016
I'll keep this review shortish as other reviewers have adequately covered it. I read this book for my book club and was unsure, when it was allocated as a book to read, as I'm not that keen on Urban fantasy. I like my fantasy to be 'otherworld', sword and sorcerer. However, on beginning to read this I was hooked. On the book cover blurb it states that it is Monty Pythonish, I have always hated Monty Python, so that initially put me off. However, I wouldn't class it as such, if anything it reminded me of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The book holds your interest and is a very clever piece of writing. Poor Richard, a young businessman, minding his own business and going out for the evening with his somewhat managing girlfriend, Jessica, takes pity on an injured young ragamuffin of a girl, much to Jessica's disgust. In helping young Door, who unbeknown to Richard, has otherworldly (magic) skills, Richard also becomes one of the 'non-people' to those of the 'normal' world, London Above. He finds that Jessica and his work colleagues no longer recognise him. For, like Door, Richard has 'fallen through the gap' and become one of the inhabitants of London below. We all have probably met or seen 'non-people'; those who have 'fallen through the gaps' of society and whom we, the 'normal' people, largely choose to ignore i.e. the homeless, who sleep rough on streets for whatever reason. Very clever precept!
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on 3 March 2017
What an absolute gem of a read, the other London, amazing imagery; you can smell and taste the descriptions. Interesting characters and loyalty tested to the full. Neil Gaiman is now on my favourite authors list.
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on 29 September 2017
I read this book on the Kindle. A nonsensical but enjoyable read.I had not come across Neil Gaiman until someone gave me American Gods as a gift, a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I will be reading more of his tales in the future.
Some great and fanciful characters in this story, a dark fairy-tale and romance.
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on 1 September 2017
I found myself imagining all sorts about the way Neil described 'London below' especially whilst on my commute on the London Underground, I was completely captivated by his style, humour and characterisation.
I personally couldn't fault this book, it was interestingly bizarre but in the best possible way. I will definitely read this again and look forward to reading a lot more by this author. How I didn't realise he wrote Stardust is beyond me, but better late than never.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 March 2015
There are a few things I need to clear up before I get into the bones of this review. The first is that I started reading Neverwhere because I’m getting involved with a London book club, and as the first host I was able to take my pick of the titles that the club will discuss – the only catch is that all of the books are London-themed. I actually studied London in Literature as a module at university and so a lot of the books on the list were books that I’d already read. But I’ve read some Gaiman before and this one was new to me, so it was a no-brainer.

The second thing that I wanted to mention was the sad death of Terry Pratchett, a personal hero of mine, due to Alzheimer’s disease. Pratchett passed away whilst I was reading this, which brought his death home even closer – I’ve already read Good Omens, which Pratchett and Gaiman wrote together, and the two authors were close friends. On the blurb of the book, Wired even says that it’s “the sort of book Terry Pratchett might produce if he spent a month locked in a cell with Franz Kafka.”

I’m not going to talk more about Pratchett, nor indeed about London apart from to point out that the novel is set in the city and, to a certain extent, underneath it. The locations in the book do, of course, help to define it, but it’s the characters and the story line which really grip you – loosely speaking, we follow a loose band of heroes through the murky underworld of a second London, which thrives beneath the streets and in the sewers.

It’s a vividly-described and thoroughly engrossing hybrid between a sociological satire and an honest-to-goodness fantasy novel, with elements of other genres thrown in. If London is a melting pot for different cultures, Gaiman’s work is a melting pot for different genres, and it’s fascinating to see how they’ve evolved over time and formed their own unique fusion.

This might not be Gaiman’s finest work, but it is still a fantastic piece in its own right, and it’s one that’s definitely worth reading if you get a chance to do so.
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on 8 March 2016
I don't know how I missed the series of this on the TV, I was amazed it was so well known. It is certainly a well written and complex tale. I dropped a star simply because I totally felt for Richard in the claustrophobic dirty underworld, and his joy at coming back above ground. Especially in the past London, unsullied by people and especially by strange foreigners and dreadful beliefs and practices. So when he went back below I was horrified. I could never have done that. I don't like the underground, and I don't like noisy crowded London, but above ground is still better than below. If Gaiman had shown that Richard had managed to achieve sharing himself between both worlds I would have been happier. The tale is really creepy and I am not a lover of these really as it makes me feel so unclean and uncomfortable. (I didn't like Coraline at all). But it is very readable and awell thought out plot. Some phrases and plays on words are especially impressive.
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on 3 March 2018
What a pleasure and a joy to read.
This book is filled with fantastically emmginitive ideas. Took me a by surprise and after reading the sample sent to my kindle, never put the book down.
For me, a new and fresh story and wonderfully written.
There are no drawn out scenes where the author rambles on to make up page space.
Characters are easy to understand and I was kept guessing the whole way through.
An absolute joy.
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on 31 December 2017
I really thought I was going to hate this book. I always sneer when I hear about or read fantasy novels synopses, but I'm glad I listened to the mutilple recommendations I received, rather than my own snobbishness.

This book is charming, eccentric, and vivid. Richard, our protagonist, is a great everyman and while you may think you can telegram his journey, the ending had me biting my nails and holding back tears.

Buy this book. Read this book. LOVE this book.
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