What can I say, I love Neil’s books-and they always catch me by title & story first before I realize he was the one who wrote it. So onto the-
“Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.” -From the back of the novel Neverwhere
I love this little book that I put in the category of Urban Fantasy. Richard really is just your average young modern man, and that is what is so wonderful about him is that he is character you can relate to. Richard’s reactions and thoughts are something I could easily find myself doing and thinking as well when put into an impossible situation with even more impossible people. This story has a great layer of fantasy, mystery, and drama. You’ll laugh, you’ll bit your nails, you’ll feel empathy-not just for poor Richard but for many of the people you meet.
There were a few places where I had to go back and reread or pause and think about what I had just read because of all the strings that connect in the story and the multiple mysteries you try to figure out alongside Richard. It’s one of those book you just want to sit and read through one go, and think about the whole thing, then maybe a month or so down the road read it again with the knowledge you know have to see pieces you may have missed or how it all flows together from the very start. This is a book that will always be on my shelf because I feel it has unlimited reread potential, they way the story spins itself to continually keep you hook. Giving you enough to understand but always leaving you wanting a little bit more.
If you’d like a break from fantasy that involves dragons, wizards, and mystical settings, then this may be the book for you. The strong fantasy elements are still very much there-just in a modern setting with modern people. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but here is a quote from the book just to pique your interest and give a bit of a taste of Neverwhere.
“Young man,” he said, “understand this: there are two Londons. There’s London Above – that’s where you lived – and then there’s London Below – the Underside – inhabited by the people who fell through the cracks in the world. Now you’re one of them. Good night.“
As a little ending note, I have heard that there was a mini tv series first and that the book came later. I’m curious about this and will look into it more. If it’s true, I may watch it and do a comparison review of the book and show.