41 thoughts on “Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

  1. Three out of five? I’d call it rather satisfactory than satisfying 😉 but then, you’re a more generous reviewer than I am on my best day 😂
    I fully agree with your opinion of the main protagonist’s lifenessness – he’s a paper cutout, which is surprising for me as usually Gaiman’s protagonists are compelling and believable. I think the actual protagonist of this novel is London Below 😉

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    1. Hahaha I honestly didn’t see a difference between those two words. 😛 And yes, his characters are usually so much more interesting than this one. Can’t blame the idea behind this one though. For now, I won’t rule him out of my list of authors still worth checking out though. I just need to pick up a much better one next so I don’t feel like I only give the dude 3 stars all the time hahah

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      1. What have you read by Gaiman till now? I’ve read my good share of his books and as a rule, he seems to have trouble with a satisfying conclusion 😉 – the only exceptions being The Norse Mythology (but that’s definitely not his own conclusion 😜) and The Study in Emerald. And, grudgingly, The American Gods (but only to a point 😉).

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        1. I’ve read American Gods (gave it a passing grade of 3 stars, despite enjoying the super long journey. I’ve read the comic book adaptation and am waiting for the 3rd volume. Also read Sandman (will end up rereading that one this year) and Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader. The only other novel I read was The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which is so far, the best one of his work for me… for now… What do you recommend me, based on what you know about my reading habits? I’m not sure if I want to try Coraline (I saw the movie and enjoyed it), The Graveyard Book or Stardust next… I don’t know what the last two are actually about but I’m hoping they’re my cup of tea… 😛

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          1. The Graveyard Book was mediocre for me. As usual with Gaiman, great ideas, less than stellar execution 😉 I quite enjoyed Stardust, is funny and witty, but it’s mostly an elaborate play on fantasy tropes – not sure if it’s up your alley.
            My favourite Gaimans are The Norse Mythology, which I really adore, as it’s a highly engaging, at the same time modern and respectful retelling of Norse myths, and The Study in Emerald (the comic book version). Both had been reviewed on our blog, if you’re interested 😀
            I think you’d also enjoy one of the best Marvel what-if stories, 1602, showcasing all favorite Marvel characters in an early Renaissance English setting 😁

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    1. Thanks, Nicki! I think it might indeed be enjoyable in other formats. I usually do think that novelizations aren’t that great in general too, maybe he was too focused on recreating the elements from the show as he wrote, making it less appealing to me. And yes, I’m glad to connect the dots for you regarding Lenny Henry! 😀

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  2. Sorry you weren’t completely convinced, but I am glad you en enjoyed it overall.. Like Nicki, I listened to the dramatised version with a great set of actors incl. Christopher Lee and Benedict Cumberbatch and loved it!

    I do see what you mean about the protagonist, he certainly wasn’t the most exciting character. But perhaps that was kind of the point with him? What happens when a very ordinary (boring) person is exposed to something extraordinary? I couldn’t help wondering how I would have reacted. I live in London, not too far from the British Museum, which added an extra dimension. Great review as usual!

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    1. Ohhhh so cool that Lee and Cumberbatch were on that version! I’d be down to try that out sometime.

      I too did think that maybe he was meant to be so mundane for the sake of making his adventure so exceptionally wonderful hahah And yes! I feel like living in London while reading this would make it even more fantastic. I had the opportunity to finally visit London for the first time over the summer and everything was quite fresh in my mind too while I read it. 😀

      Thank you so much for reading, I really appreciate it! 😀

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  3. I read this one so long ago my memories are a bit vague, but I recall really enjoying it. I think it may have been my first Neil Gaimen book. Several years ago I attended a live presentation by Gaimen, very interesting and entertaining person. Hearing him read from his own books was quite a treat, especially given the setting, which was sunset in the open air pavilion of Wolf Trap in Northern Virginia. Now everytime I read anything he’s written I can’t help but imagine it in his voice in a similar setting. 🙂

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    1. My first Neil Gaiman NOVEL (excluding comics) was American Gods and I enjoyed it too but had issues with the pacing with it. I just really love his writing style but I feel like his stories have some kind of structure issue for now. I still got a couple more to try hahah

      Wow, I envy those who live in the UK or USA who get the chance to see these authors so often. Out here in Quebec, Canada, the chances of that are close to zero… Unless I go on a roadtrip to Vancouver, BC or maybe Toronto hahah

      But I’ve heard Neil Gaiman in interviews and I can only imagine how cool stories told in his voice must be awesome!

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  4. I love Neverwhere, but well, it’s not flawless. Probably the first solid urban fantasy I’ve read, that perhaps made me like it even more. And it was the same edition 🙂

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  5. Brilliant review, Lashaan! Neil Gaiman’s work is always so praised but I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet. Sounds like there were certainly some great ideas in this book however I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t quite work for you!

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  6. Hm, interesting, I was hoping to eventually check this out but I’m not so sure now – especially since it’s the first book in a series as well makes me more reluctant to commit. I hadn’t realised this was a novelisation of a BBC tv mini-series and I now seem to have vague memories of it being advertised back in the day. Great (and honest) review Lashaan, I do want to read some Neil Gaiman one day but unsure if it’ll be this title!

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    1. I think there might be a better place to start with his books, honestly. However, it’s still a solid story and if you overcome the downsides I point out, you might enjoy it even more though.

      I too didn’t know it was a BBC show before becoming a well-beloved novel. Thanks for reading, Chris! I appreciate it a lot. 😀

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  7. It’s been a long, long time since I read Neverwhere, and memory of it has turned hazy at best, but what I remember is that I found it delightfully strange: I guess that was my first Urban Fantasy read before I became aware of this hybrid genre, and this book probably gave birth to my fondness for UF. Maybe I should revisit it, just for the sake of memory… 🙂
    Thank you for reminding me and for sharing this!!!

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    1. I can definitely see it as an introduction to UF, it merits that kind of praise for sure. I just can’t say that it’s some of the best UF you can find today. I could only recommend revisiting it to remind you of what made you enjoy it though. It’s Neil Gaiman after all. He doesn’t disappoint hahah Thanks for reading, Maddalena! 😀

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