Book Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

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A little while ago (I can’t remember how long now, time is going by in such a blur… two, three months? Anyway.) I signed up for my very first blogger book swap, organized but the lovely Stephany! I love trying new genres of books & couldn’t wait to see how it would go.

Last month I was paired up with Emily and we found out that we had incredibly similar taste in books but at the same time had our own favorite genres. She mailed me over one of her favorite titles, a fantasy novel by bestselling author Neil Gaiman called Neverwhere.

I had previously heard really fantastic things about Neil Gaiman but there are just so many amazing novels to read out there that I really never thought twice about picking up one of his. I read some mild fantasy novels (especially young adult/teen stuff because I often find that adult fantasy and science-fiction can be a bit too much for me) but I told Emily I was open to trying it since she loved it so much.

The story revolves around a man named Richard Mayhew who moves to London and basically starts a life there. He meets a woman and gets engaged, has a 9-5 job, the whole every day life kind of thing. One day as he is rushing to a dinner with his fiancee, Jessica, he sees a little girl bleeding on the sidewalk and feels compelled to stop and help her. Although Jessica begs him to keep moving otherwise they’ll be late, Richard let’s her go and chooses to help the little girl instead.

What starts out as a simple gesture turns into a whirlwind adventure with the lovely young girl, Door, who turns out to be a very powerful person in London’s underworld. The two characters embark on a journey to solve a mystery and encounter many friends, creatures and very strange people along the way.

It took me about two weeks to get through the book because I was so caught up with school and life, but every time I picked it back up I fell back into this entirely new world and found myself completely captivated. I have to admit that by simply reading the back of the book I probably wouldn’t have EVER read it, but I’m so glad Emily chose this one for me. It was a novel that’s completely out of my usual reading zone and I ended up really loving it. Neil Gaimain has such a witty way of writing his characters and his story development.

I’m definitely going to look into his other fictional works- I really enjoyed his writing style and was really sad to see the story come to an end. I might even start looking into other similar works of fantasy just for the enjoyment of reading something that I’m not used to reading!

There were a few aspects of the story that I wasn’t CRAZY about. Like I said, I’m not a huge fantasy reader, and although this one really wasn’t overdone at all, there were a few characters (like the rat-speakers) that I felt were a bit overdone (although I guess when I look back they were pretty important).

I would definitely recommend this book to someone who is looking to give adult fantasy a shot, like me. It’s nothing too crazy and it’s an incredibly fun read!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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8 responses »

  1. Neverwhere is a great little story, and even better, it’s a wonderful introduction to Neil Gaiman! I hope it has inspired you to look at more books by him, he does kid stuff, young adult, and adult stuff.

  2. I really don’t like fantasy or mystery however last semester I took a children’s literature class and had to read Gaiman’s Graveyard Book for children and I LOVED IT! The twists in the book and the story line really pulled me in, reading your blog i’m interested in more of his work. But until then I highly recommend Graveyard Book it’s a quick read and you’ll love it!

    Meg
    http://chubbiechickguide.blogspot.com/

    • Children’s literature- I’m so jealous! I work in the children’s department at a bookstore so I’m quite familiar with the books and have such an appreciation for them (from baby until teen books). I’ve always seen The Graveyard Book and have heard great things about it, so I probably will check it out very soon! I love the way he writes. 🙂

  3. I am currently reading this book. I’m enjoying it so far and I’m not really a big sci-fi fantasy fan either. I’m currently in a reading rut and haven’t really been in love with anything I’ve read in a long time with the exception of Saving CeCe Honeycutt.

  4. I may have suggested it before, but look into Good Omens. It’s the only Neil Gaiman book I’ve read but it was awesome! It’s one of my fave books ever and I always suggest it when people are looking for a new book to read.

  5. I don’t know anything about fantasy (I don’t read it), but I know Neil Gaiman! He wrote the comic book miniseries and novel they based the movie Stardust on (I know this from reading a blog just this morning about it).

  6. I love how you got a book completely out of what you normally read! I’m not big on fantasy either but it sounds like a pretty interesting book! Sometimes, I just have a big problem BELIEVING all the fantasy parts.

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