Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Purchase from Angus and Robertson Bookworld

Neil Gaiman is a fantastic writer. In fact, I think he is the most talented writer to grace our world. We’ve had plenty of writers that produce excellen9780755322800t texts and write wonderfully – think Hemingway, Wells, Austen, and co.- but no one has ever written quite like Gaiman.

Neverwhere is no exception. Gaiman’s bizarre fantasy reality mix along with his off-beat writing make for a great story.

Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew, Door, the Marquis de Carabas, and an equally odd assortment of other characters. Richard Mayhew is your typical English man living in London Above who becomes an unwilling participant in the political wars of London Below, a place he, like all other Above residents, didn’t know existed. London Below is where the people who fall through the cracks go, they are the sewer rats and in some cases, they literally are rats. Queue enter the rat speakers.

Gaiman uses the two realms London Above, the real world, and London Below, the fantasy world, to discuss political issues particularly the treatment of the lower class population. Even though Neverwhere is primarily a fantasy novel, it is full of truths, some easy while many hard.

“You’ve a good heart. Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go. But mostly, it’s not.”

But it’s not Gaiman’s clever comparisons between worlds that makes this book so fantastic, it is his quirky, off beat writing style. He truly is a master of language using the strangest combinations of words that if used by anyone else would end disastrously, but for Gaiman it is a part of his magic.

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