Monday, May 19, 2014


Title: Neverwhere
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 17, 2009
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Adventure
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 5/5


Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.


Neverwhere is a tale of fantasy unlike anything I've ever read. The innocent rescue of an injured woman lands Richard Mayhew in a world of tunnels, sewers and train stations that do not necessarily exist. Apart from the ratspeakers who serve the rats and a rather dodgy angel, he meets the black friars of Blackfriars Station, the earl of Earls Court and has to cross the real Knightsbridge where the knight or night might snatch those who cross.

The above mentioned places and people are just a taste of what you will encounter in this highly imaginative story. Neil Gaiman created an utterly unique world set in the numerous underground spaces below London. He liberally uses myth, legend, history and a refreshing touch of reality to enhance his fantasy environment.

Richard Mayhew is a realistic, slightly flawed character. Scatter-brained and a bit of a coward, he is the kind of character that infuriates you while crawling into your heart. Door, the other main character, isn't very clear cut as she is too busy achieving her goal and running from her pursuers to display much personality.

The two really bad guys, Croup and Vandemar, are two of the best villains I have encountered in a long time. Between their bloodlust and penchant for inflicting torture, and the relentlessness with which they pursue a victim, they are truly the stuff of nightmares.

Not only is this book a tale of adventure and darker fantasy, it also contains a liberal amount of incredibly witty humor. To balance out the adventure and humor, there are a few deeply poignant scenes that will surely touch your heart.

For a read that will excite, stimulate, and horrify you while making you smile and even laugh out loud, I highly recommend Neverwhere as an absolute must-read.



Neil Gaiman has written highly acclaimed books for both children and adults. He has won many major awards, including the Hugo and the Nebula, and his novel The Graveyard Book is the only work to ever win both the Newbery (US) and Carnegie (UK) Medals. His books for readers of all ages include the bestselling Coraline, also an Academy Award-nominated film; Odd and the Frost Giants; and The Wolfs in the Walls. Originally from England, Gaiman now lives in the United States.

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