Monday, 25 April 2011
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Years ago the BBC produced a series called ‘Neverwhere’ I enjoyed it a great deal and remember most of the characters well, particularly Hunter; heroic blade for hire and the Marquis de Carabas; an enigmatic trickster, his every word dripping with sarcasm and insincerity.
Imagine my delight when, 14 years later, I discovered the original screenplay writer, Neil Gaiman, had written a full blown novel featuring the same story and characters with more depth, background and excitement than the TV show could hope to convey.
The story takes place in two different worlds; the busy, crowded everyday streets of London known as ‘London Above’ and the mysterious, magical world of ‘London Below’. The subterranean city is never seen by ordinary Londoners who are oblivious to its existence. The denizens of London Below are magical, long-lived and not always human. Richard Mayhew, our unlikely hero, lives in London Above, that is until he comes to the aid of a citizen of London Below and is unwittingly plunged headlong into a world of assassins, talking rats, warriors and monsters.
The story is very exciting, uplifting and well structured too with the perfect backdrop. I found myself effortlessly sucked into the world of London Below and Gaiman does a first rate job of transporting the reader. The characters are larger than life and loveable, particularly the roguish Marquis. All of the characters got under my skin and I do not believe there was a weak one in there. The book itself has played on my mind a great deal since reading it and I have no doubt I will be returning to it again soon.
A brilliant adventure story.
Overall rating 4/5