Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

I went to a bookstore the other day with the intention of buying a book that I would not ordinarily read, and man was that one of the better decisions I have made in my life! I bought this book, at a friend’s recommendation, and I sat down outside of a cafe and read for a solid 3 hours. I could not put this book down.

I finished it the next day and I was so devastated! I wanted to read so much more! Unfortunately, Neil Gaiman does not write sequels (damn him), so this was all I could read. This was his debut solo novel and it was a good debut let me tell you.

The story begins with the most compliant and unassuming Richard Mayhew who gets drawn into a new world when he stops to help an injured girl bleeding on the streets, and follows him through London Below, a magical and mysterious world of people who have ‘fallen through the cracks’. There is mystery, intrigue, a plot twist-twist, and so many doors. Gaiman creates a whole other world using barely any description of the world itself, but rather snapshots of pieces of the world – the Floating Market, the Labyrinth, Earl’s Court, The Black Friars; all pieces that create a cohesive yet starkly unique world.

Something I particularly loved about this novel is the small nuances – very small one-liner bits that add character and personality to the novel itself. Another thing I liked was that it curiously lacked a romantic subplot. It held the potential to create one (and I ship it so hard) but it left it ambiguous.  A specific scene with Door and Richard even addresses this potential, but the moment passes before any action is made, as it is so often in reality.

So much of what I enjoyed about this book was Gaiman’s ability to pull me in right from the beginning, as well as his sardonic, sarcastic descriptions about people. I was in tears at some points with laughter – I got several looks from fellow cafe-goers.

If you are looking for a novel that is witty, sarcastic, and intriguing, then Neverwhere is most definitely for you!


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