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Neverwhere: A Novel Paperback – Aug 15 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; Reprint edition (Aug. 15 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060557818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060557812
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (450 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Neverwhere's protagonist, Richard Mayhew, learns the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished. He ceases to exist in the ordinary world of London Above, and joins a quest through the dark and dangerous London Below, a shadow city of lost and forgotten people, places, and times. His companions are Door, who is trying to find out who hired the assassins who murdered her family and why; the Marquis of Carabas, a trickster who trades services for very big favors; and Hunter, a mysterious lady who guards bodies and hunts only the biggest game. London Below is a wonderfully realized shadow world, and the story plunges through it like an express passing local stations, with plenty of action and a satisfying conclusion. The story is reminiscent of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but Neil Gaiman's humor is much darker and his images sometimes truly horrific. Puns and allusions to everything from Paradise Lost to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz abound, but you can enjoy the book without getting all of them. Gaiman is definitely not just for graphic-novel fans anymore. --Nona Vero --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Gaiman assumes the role of narrator for his latest book, offering an intimate reading that steals one's attention almost immediately and keeps the listener involved throughout. As the story is based in the United Kingdom, Gaiman is a quintessential raconteur for the tale, with his charming Scottish brogue instilling life and spirit into the central character of Richard Mayhew. Pitch perfect, with clear pronunciation, Gaiman invites listeners into his living room for a fireside chat, offering a private and personal experience that transcends the limitations of traditional narration. The author knows his story through and through, capturing the desired emotion and audience reaction in each and every scene. His characters are unique, with diverse personalities and narrative approaches, and Gaiman offers a variety of dialects and tones. The reading sounds more like a private conversation among friends with Gaiman providing the convincing and likable performance the writing deserves. A Harper Perennial paperback (Reviews, May 19, 1997). (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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First Sentence
She had been running for four days now, a harum-scarum tumbling flight through passages and tunnels. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 23 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This story was built with a rich imagination. I loved reading about what odd scenario the characters would find themselves in next. It was clever, interesting, and quite a page turner. The characters, however, especially Richard and Door, were too shallow. I never took to them the way I wanted to. I didn't long for their success. Door had so much potential, but the details just never came out, and Richard, well he was mostly a doofus. If this author could make us really care for the characters, this would be world-class storytelling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 18 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Subterranean alternate-cultures are a fascinating little niche in modern literature. However, "Neverwhere" never attains the characterization or depth of Neal Shusterman's "Downsiders," combining sketchy characterization with truly worthy chills.
Except for an odd fortuneteller's warning, Richard Mayhew appears to have everything going well. He has a good job and a fiancee whom he loves -- until the day he and his fiancee stumble over a young woman bleeding in the street from a stab wound. He carries the girl, who calls herself "Door" and refers to the city as "London Above," back to his apartment, fixes her up, and helps her back to wherever it is she came from.
But a sinister pair came by while she was recovering, the deliciously evil and creepy Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar. And the sudden loss of his identity quickly drives Richard deeper into "London Below," a shadow world of rat-girls called Anesthesia, body-guardians, the bizarre marquis, and a hideous Beast of London whom he must try to battle...
I have heard exceptional things about Neil Gaiman, and enjoyed the beautifully-written "Stardust." However, perhaps this was an "off" item for Gaiman; there isn't much charm or interest in this story. Part of that stems from the lead character, Richard: He's a limp dishrag of a character, who reacts blandly to every situation, no matter how fantastical or terrifying it is. When his friends don't recognize him and strangers don't see him, his noticeable emotion is not frustration and anger, but a sad "oh well, I guess I'm in trouble." This might not have harmed the book, except that Richard is the lens through which the readers see the story. There are brief exceptions: passages that focus on other characters entirely, which are delightfully written and very spicy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael Vesker on Oct. 3 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This story is a really great tale of magic but for a mature audience. I completely identified with the hero's frustrations with regular life, and the snide comments about our society ring true.
For those just looking for a fun read this is no less of a treasure, think of this book as Alice In Wonderland if it had been written by Stephen King with Douglas Adams type humor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GinRobi on Nov. 4 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
**Spoiler Alert!** If you plan on reading the book, do not continue reading this review. ... Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Richard Mayhew is just your everyday Average Joe who moved to London to procure a number-crunching job. He meets a girl and becomes engaged. Life seems to be great. However, Richard is an absent-minded person. He forgets his keys, loses track of time, etc... On the way to dinner with his fiancee (with a reservation he forgot to confirm), where he was supposed to impress her boss, Richard stops by a rag girl who is exhausted, frightened and hurt. Jessica (who is most definitely a woman who prefers her way or the highway) demands he leave her for someone else to take care of. And when he picks up the girl to take her home, Jessica (her name isn't Jess) threatens to end their engagement. Richard disregards her statement and takes the girl home to mend. Little did he know how bad life was about to get.

"Door" can open doorways without keys, can open doors where there are none. It was her ability that helped her escape her would-be assassins, Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar, and brought her to London Above. But Richard doesn't understand her meaning. No worries, reluctantly, he soon will. Her would-be assasssins manage to track her down, but Richard manages to get rid of them. With her face now plastered on Missing posters throughout the neighborhood, Door sends Richard for help and he brings back the Marquis de Carabas. As she leaves, she apologizes. Little does Richard know how deep that apology actually goes. For Richard's life, as he knows it, is now over. Jessica broke their engagement and refuses to see or talk to him. When he arrives at work, his possessions are removed from his desk. His flat is leased to another couple - while he's in the tub!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DanD on June 2 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Richard Mayhew is a normal guy. His girlfriend's a bit obsessive, and his career seems to be going nowhere. But then he meets Door--a young girl he finds on the street, bleeding. Richard takes Door back to his apartment, where he lets her rest and get better.
Before long, a couple "men" come looking for her. They are Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar--two wisecracking, charming, thoroughly sadist and bloodthirsty individuals. They promise to tear out Richard's liver and feed it to him...and they mean to keep it.
In an effort to protect himself, and to find out why he seems to be disappearing from the normal world, Richard tracks down Door...and finds something he never suspected: London Below, a world BELOW the city of London, where the phrase "Mind the gap" at rail stations means something entirely different...where a beast stalks a huge labyrinth...and a fallen angel plots a dastardly scheme...
Neil Gaiman is a thrilling, imaginative author. "Neverwhere" will hold you rivited to your seat with its action, suspense, and the perils of Richard Mayhew and his naivity. It's a must for fans of sci-fi, fantasy, and good old adventures.
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