Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Today's Recommendsday novel is Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.
Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart - and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. From that moment forward he is propelled into a world he never dreamed existed - a dark subculture flourishing in abandoned subway stations and sewer tunnels below the city - a world far stranger and more dangerous than the only one he has ever known...
The Minneapolis Star Tribune hit the nail on the head tagging Neverwhere as "a dark contemporary 'Alice in Wonderland'". Mayhew starts out as any ordinary Londoner, going about his day to day life and keeping his nose out of everyone else's business. That all changes when he meets Door, a girl bleeding on the street. Due to his good nature, Mayhew helps clean Door up and becomes sucked into her world of adventure, danger, and London Below. Yes, you read that right, London Below...ever ride a metro train and hear the recording "Mind the Gap" repeated ad nausea? Well what happens if you fail to mind the gap and instead fall down it? You end up in a world where the rules are all backwards, where earls, angels, bishops, and henchmen gather within the sewers and tunnels....you end up in London Below.
Poor unsuspecting Richard is now stalked by the same hitmen after Door and the only way to get back to the world he knows (London Above), is to go on a quest. Joining the duo, are a bodyguard/assassin appropriately named Hunter and a slimy twofaced good for nothing (can you tell I despise him?) turdface called the Marquis of Carabas. Many almost Monte Python-esque trials await the group; however where Python is silly, Neverwhere is just as dark and corrupt.
Characters are well rounded, plot is off like a shot every chapter, and the dialogue flows with no effort on the reader's part. I had a very hard time putting the book down, even after I finished I contemplated starting all over again. The world Gaiman weaves is nothing short of amazing. I even caught myself peering down gaps in the elevator wondering what lay below ;p.
Mind the gaps as you run off for your own copy!