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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thoughts on Pages #03: Neverwhere


You guys. Y'all. Oh my goodness. This is now one of my favorite books of all time.

Lemme tell you why. :)

Storyline

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew, a London office worker with a boyish face who winds up in the midst of a quest undertaken by the Lady Door, whose family was killed by an unknown menace, who she's trying to find. Richard's involvement with Door leads him on adventures he'd never expected to go on - and it changes him for the better.

That's pretty much all I can say without spoiling the actual story.

Characters

Richard's character development is pretty much flawless. There are times when I genuinely felt for him in his struggles and rooted for him in his times of success - and that's hard to say about a lot of protagonists these days. I loved his "mental diary entries" in the novel - if you've read it, you know what I'm talking about, but those are a part of his mental commentary on what's happening. I mean, what would you be thinking if you found out rats could talk?

The supporting cast in London Below/Underside was also brilliant - whether it was Door, the Marquis de Carabas, Hunter, or any of the good folks they met on their journey - along with the villains and other general baddies, who were definitely unsettling and even frightening at times (See: Mr. Croup and Mr.Vandemar). Good was good and evil was evil, and I love when a story makes those clear distinctions. That doesn't mean that some characters' alliances didn't shift and that some of their betrayals didn't shock me, though.

The supporting cast in London Above/present-day London was well-written and delightfully mundane. It's interesting to see Richard interact with everyone he knows in London, and how that does change by the end of the novel.

Setting

Fun fact: London is my favorite city of all time (besides my hometown and Savannah, GA). All of the references to different places and things that popped up in London Below: Harrods, Marks & SpencerKnightsbridge, British Museum, and more made me so so so happy. It was a nice touch to see so many strong parallels to present-day London and how what Richard thought he knew about his London went up against the fantasy and magic of London Below.

Also, the fictional aspects of London Below were very well-written. When a place was ethereal and happy, it was ethereal and happy. When it was dark and ominous and scary, it was dark and ominous and scary.

My Thoughts

The entire story as a whole is a thrill ride from start to finish. It's a story of how an ordinary man conquers his fears in huge ways with some unlikely and fun companions. I highly recommend going into it knowing as little as possible about the story and ending - it makes the surprises more fun.

One of my friends called this story something like Alice in Wonderland, and I have to say that I agree to an extent. It was dreamlike, but not a dream, and some stuff seemed mad, but made sense in the end. London Below was very similar - almost a mirror - to our world: good and bad people both exist, how you handle situations determines your character, and hope can be a lifesaver in any circumstance.

I did a YouTube search of Neverwhere to see if I could find anything - movie, TV series, whatever - and the BBC did have a Neverwhere program, and they released a clip of it for Geek Week on YouTube. Doctor Who fans, get really excited: the Angel Islington is played by Peter Capaldi, the 12th and newest Doctor. I personally think this casting is perfect across the board with the other characters, too. The clip is non-spoilery. Enjoy!


Overall, I give Neverwhere 5 doors out of 5. It's an adventure worth reading, and I'm so happy that I had the pleasure of experiencing it.

This was an amazing read! Have you guys read Neverwhere yet? What did you think?

Have any recommendations for me? If you want to see what I'm reading now and what books I like, check out my Goodreads.

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