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Neverwhere ()

Neil Gaiman, the renowned creator of The Sandman comic book, makes his solo novelist debut with this entertaining, though derivative, dark fantasy.

Richard Mayhew has come to London to make his way in the world. He works as a securities analyst & he's become engaged. He's a decent kind-hearted soul who never passes a beggar without digging out some change. Then one night on the way to dinner with his fiancee, the tatterdemalion who he stops to help turns out to be an injured young girl named Door. He takes her back to his apartment
& shortly is visited by Mr. Croup & Mr. Vandemar, two vicious looking men in Victorian dress. He is unable to stop them from searching the apartment, but they do not find Door. When she comes out of hiding, she asks him to carry a message for her. He agrees & goes to fetch the mysterious marquis de Carabas, who takes Door away.

With these odd people out of his life, Richard tries to resume his life, but discovers that he has become a non-person. His bank card doesn't work, friends don't recognize him & many people don't even appear to see him. He sets out to try to find out what happened & ends up in London Below, a bizarre city that exists in some kind of parallel reality beneath the streets of the City.  Finding Door and de Carabas, he joins them in a quest to destroy the Beast of London and find the angel Islington.

It seemed to me that Gaiman's story owed a tremendous debt to Christopher Fowler, but Fowler is largely unknown here & Gaiman's book made various best-of lists, so more power to him.


Neverwhere:  (Neil Gaiman) Actually, a good contrast to High Fidelity (see Charlie's review).  Both stories focus on a guy in a job they don't much like, both have women trying to run their lives-- but here the events of the book cause the hero to grow up and make a real choice on how to live his life.  If you like either the fantasy or horror genres this is a great read, with a lead character you can root for.


Grade: (B+)


Neil Gaiman Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Neil Gaiman
    -REVIEW: of 'Summerland' by Michael Chabon (Neil Gaiman, Washington Post)
    -PODCAST: Master: The allegations against Neil Gaiman - episode 1 (The Slow Newscast)
    -ESSAY: The Gaiman Case: The allegations and what the writer says. (C.T. May, 7/12/24, Splice Today)

Book-related and General Links:
    -The Dreaming: Neil Gaiman Page
    -INTERVIEW: NEIL GAIMAN author of AMERICAN GODS : The author of the seminal Sandman series of graphic novels talks about his new book, why he doesn't think J.K. Rowling ripped him off and the secret life of the London literary scene. (January Magazine)
    -INTERVIEW : Of gods and monsters : Q&A with Neil Gaiman (Robin Dougherty, Boston Globe, 9/2/2001)
    -PROFILE : (Rebecca Velten , Entertainment Today)
    -Sandman: Neil Gaiman Links
    -REVIEW: (Christiana Schulman Science Fiction Reviews)
    -REVIEW: Neverwhere' never fails to please (David Mandeville, CNN)
    -REVIEW : of American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Michael Dirda, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW : of American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Bram Eisenthal, National Post)

    -Official London Underground Tube Information
  -REVIEW: of Sandman: King of Dreams by Alisa Kwitney (Chris Bolton,