Quick Book Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Neverwhere is a dark, humorous tale about a mundane everyday guy, who suddenly finds his dull, safe world turned inside out when he decides to help an injured girl he and his fiance find lying on the sidewalk on their way to an important dinner.

Neverwhere’s what-if question is, “What if the discarded elements of society actually had an important role somewhere?” The bums who you pass on the street without noticing are actually a functioning part of an underworld London. Forgotten alleys and train stations also end up here.

Those who have been touched by this unseen world become very easy to ignore. Such is the case with Richard Mayhew, whose act of naive generosity literally ruins his life and earns him the ire of the villainous Messrs Croup and Vandemar, who are the most well-written villains in any novel I’ve read in a long time.

Although it didn’t detract from the story at all, it felt like I was missing out on some of the “insider stuff” having never been to London. Such as all of the references to places in London like Harrod’s, Knightsbridge, etc. If you can accept that you might not catch all of the cultural references (or if you already know them or determine that you will look them up when you come to them), Neverwhere is a very entertaining read.

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