eBook - 2009
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Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinarylife, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.
Publisher: 2009
ISBN: 9780061793059

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_agaleano Mar 20, 2019

Choosing a favourite between Neil Gaiman’s books is akin to choosing a favourite snowflake. They are all different, and equally beautiful. Each book has its own distinctive voice, and each has something to say about the reality we live in and what it means to be human. But one of Gaiman’s stories that is very dear to me is Neverwhere. It exists in many formats: a television series; a novel; a comic book; a stage play; an all-star radio adaptation; an Author’s Preferred Text edition; and an audiobook. Every version is brilliant, but my favourite is the audiobook of the Author’s Preferred Text edition—the equivalent of the director’s cut in the literary world—read by the author.

In Neverwhere, Richard Mayhew is with his fiancée, Jessica, on their way to have dinner with her boss when a door opens and a girl in bulky clothes stumbles into the street and collapses. While Jessica simply walks over the girl as if she were invisible, Richard stops to help her. This act of kindness changes his life forever. The girl’s name is Door and she comes from a London that exists below the one Richard knows. It is a London where magic and darkness are very real and so are angels and monsters. The inhabitants of London Below are those that have fallen through the cracks in society, and are thus invisible to the people of London Above. When Richard helps Door return safely to London Below, he inadvertently becomes part of London Below and invisible to the people around him. Taxis won’t stop to pick him up, people that have known him for years act like he doesn’t exist anymore, and the only people that see him are those the rest of society also seems to not see, those without a home. Richard then begins a dangerous journey into London Below to find his way back to his life in London Above.

Neverwhere is an excellent example of how fantasy can sometimes expose reality more deeply than other genres. Neverwhere explores the theme of homelessness and how people can fall through the cracks and become invisible simply by being different. It invites us to look at our world with critical lenses, and makes it impossible to walk by human suffering without acknowledging it. No person should be invisible.

Jan 10, 2019

4 Stars - I recommend if you are looking for excellent writing, vivid world building, and a completely original fantasy plot.

Richard Mayhew's life is right on track, if not a little average. He's a business man, and he's engaged to a woman he's been politely dating for some time. His chance meeting with a wounded girl catapults him into the world of London Below. A place that no upworlder knows exists. An incredibly dangerous place filled with criminals, beasts, sewer people, danger, and rats. How can Richard survive London Below, and make it back to his London Above life in one piece?

It took me a little while to get into this book, the world and how it was written. It was immediately apparent how great of a writer Gaiman is. However, I wasn't sure that this story was for me. The world building was incredible, everything was written in such a vivid way which I adored. However, there was not a lot of linear plot until about 65-70% through the book. I will admit that I put this book down for several months. I just wasn't into it. I picked it back up and finished it very quickly. Once we got into more of the action piece of the story I quite liked it. Overall, maybe not my favorite Gaiman story, but I did end up liking it quite a bit. The world building, and incredible writing make up for any of the bits that I found were not my favorite within the plot.

I felt like I’d been on an extreme rollercoaster ride after reading this book. We follow Richard Mayhew, a very ordinary Englishman, until he suddenly falls through a crack into the alternate universe of London Below. He wanders the subterranean world of the London Underground where he meets up with some very frightening beings, but there is enough humour in this book to make even the darkest moments entertaining. I never knew what to expect or whether Mayhew would prevail against the dark forces right up until the end. The book is based on a six-part BBC TV series.

Gaiman is a witty and creative writer and I’ve enjoyed all of his books so far. However, Neverwhere is still my favourite.

Aug 07, 2018

I read this when I was supposed to be studying. No regrets. Don't even remember what the class was.

Jun 12, 2018

On his way to a formal engagement with his girlfriend, Richard is startled when a broken and bleeding form stumbles out of a doorway and collapses onto the London sidewalk in front of them. Though Jessica insists that they phone emergency services and be on their way, Richard hesitates and then decides to stay behind to assist the unresponsive woman, unaware that his sense of compassion will alter his life irrevocably going forward. He learns that there are two sides of London -- the unassuming city above, and the otherworldly London Below: an altered place, home to dangerously bizarre and curiously fantastic denizens, where the rules of everyday reality don't seem to apply.

'Neverwhere' was an intriguing read, though it didn't grip me quite as I'd hoped. I think because it feels sometimes that there is some crossover between urban fantasy and magical realism (which I struggle with), I find it more of a challenge to enjoy the experience fully.

Apr 19, 2018

I read this for the "A Book Set In A Country You Want To Visit" part of my 2018 reading challenge. I loved it, I love the idea of London Below and the floating market and all of the characters.

Jan 12, 2018

This story cracked me up! Definitely a good read!

May 21, 2017

Very clever! Story kept me engaged through the last pages. Many surprises. Stretches one's imagination of other realities blending with our own. Quite Glad I was reading a novel rather than watching a movie because there was substantial gore, creepiness, and the two assassins were beyond sinister and sickening in their gleeful anticipation of, and during the infliction of pain. I love it when a fantasy includes animals that can speak to humans.

Apr 19, 2017

It was a page turner. It was a good story. It was a fairy tale and the outcome was as expected.
Nothing outstanding.

MomoT Jan 11, 2017

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman has had an odd sort of genesis. It started out as a BBC mini-series, he then penned a novelisation and then that novel was the basis of the comics.

It's a rollicking good tale of a shady nether world below London involving magic, murder, revenge and the finding of courage. Made more enjoyable for me because I have lived in London.

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Jul 24, 2016

"...I would hate to remove an option before it was necessary. Anyway death is so final, isn't it?"

Jun 21, 2016

"Have you ever got everything you ever wanted? And then realized it wasn't what you wanted at all?"......"I thought I wanted this," said Richard. "I thought I wanted a nice, normal life. I mean, maybe. But if this is all there is, then I don't want to be sane. You know?"

leah_p Mar 09, 2016

“Richard wrote a diary entry in his head.

Dear Diary, he began. On Friday I had a job, a fiancée, a home, and a life that made sense. (Well, as much as any life makes sense). Then I found an injured girl bleeding on the pavement, and I tried to be a Good Samaritan. Now I've got no fiancée, no home, no job, and I'm walking around a couple of hundred feet under the streets of London with the projected life expectancy of a suicidal fruitfly.”

Jul 05, 2013

The boy had the towering arrogance only seen in the greatest of artists and all nine-year-old boys.

Sep 21, 2011

"You don't ask any questions. You don't get any answers. You don't stray from the path. You don't even think about what's happening to you right now. Got it?"


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Jul 05, 2013

Another great story from Neil Gaiman. This one takes place in the Underworld of London.

Nov 12, 2012

When Richard Mayhew stops one day to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk, his life is forever altered, for he finds himself propelled into an alternate reality that exists in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.


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Brenda74 Nov 12, 2012

Brenda74 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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