Yes, it’s time again for another Neil Gaiman book review. And this time, it is Neverwhere.
Now, let me be honest, it took me a while to actually feel the story. I had just finished Good Omens, and was thrilled to have been in a world where apocalypse was hanging overhead, yet there was a light hearted and fun vein to the story. But in Neverwhere, I was transported into a bleak and grey world that kind of offended my senses (hence the small rant in my March Reading List). Also, part of the reason was the fact that it took a while to reveal the purpose of the story. However, once I got over my initial grudge against the book, I was glad I persevered.
I was glad to see that as the story progressed, you get to see a sliver of Gaiman’s brand of humor even in places where you would not expect. I mean, it takes a special person to write “Mr. Vandemar blinked like an antique camera” even in the middle of a truly morbid scene and make the reader smile.
Having started off as a one season TV show by the same name, Neverwhere was later made into a novel by the same name. In this book, you will come across a London Above and a London Below – one, you see and experience if you are in London, and the other, you should be privileged to see (only if you fall through the cracks of the first).
That’s all I will allow myself to say. Because in Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman has delicately created two whole world with so many intricate details and sensibilities that should be experienced just the way he describes it. And I cannot do justice to it here. What stood out the most for me was the storyline that was extremely well thought out. Many books that have strong storylines tend to have characters that pale in comparison and vice versa.
However, this is one of the few that balances out a fantastic storyline with strong and vibrant characters that make you feel so much more than you bargained for. In Richard, the protagonist, you find a mundane personality leading an equally mundane life that he unsuspectingly turns around on its head not once, not twice… But then, there’s a question I asked myself, does the fact that he is narrating the story make him the protagonist? You tell me.
In Neverwhere, Gaiman has created characters that you look forward to hating, characters that you feel glad to hate and then love, characters that you love then hate and are glad to love again. He throws surprises and shocks at you as you work your way through the pages. And this is why I am hoping that this book does get made into a movie, with Johnny Depp as The Marquis de Carabas. It would be great to see these characters come to life on the big screen for a glorious hour and a half! *twiddles fingers expectantly*
After this book, I am going to make a conscious effort to stay away from Neil Gaiman’s books for a while. I do not want to ever have reached a point in time where I don’t have any more Neil Gaiman books to look forward to.