Neverwhere (Review)

Neverwhere (Review)

eil Gaiman is a skilled writer. I’ve read a couple of his books (Stardust and Good Omens among them). But I gotta say, Neverwhere was a very enjoyable read.

He did this for a BBC series years back, a nice little tale about a nice little London man who, while out with his wrong-for-him snooty girlfriend, has a ragged street girl pop out of a briefly flickering door in an otherwise blank wall, right at his feet. And he decides to “get involved”. He picks her up (against his girlfriend’s shrill and uncaring advice) and takes her home. Soon enough, a creepy immortal pair are knocking on his door, she’s suddenly not in his flat yet is again, stranger things are happening, and suddenly we learn about London Below, the place where people who fall through the cracks go. It is a world of gloomy tunnels and tube-lines, of abandoned stations and old sewer systems, of forgotten cellars and dripping water and mushrooms and intelligent rats, of fiefdoms and magic and mystery. And suddenly all the station names on the Underground have reasons, some of them funny, most of them creepy.

So yes, Richard (our hero) finds himself as part of a quest for vengeance, helping the impish Door (the girl he saved) and her friends against sinister foes of great power. It’s got all the elements of high fantasy, all set in a dark world of rusting pipes and distantly rumbling trains.

I haven’t had this much fun since I read London Under.

So yes, this is a great read. You won’t be disappointed. But make sure you find the Morrow Fiction version, the edition with the added bonus chapter, “How the Marquis got his coat back.” It will fill in a little hole in the story in splendid fashion. And splendid fashion is what the Marquis is all about.