Well, over a week of being unwell threw me off my game and affected my (blogging) swag. Nevertheless, I’m here to do a short but (hopefully) insightful post on Neil Gaiman’s How the Marquis got his Coat Back. Let me start by saying this – if any of you haven’t read Neverwhere then skip this book (and this review) for the meanwhile.
While the story in this book is not exactly a spin off of Neverwhere, you need to have read it to fully appreciate the main character in How the Marquis got his Coat Back – the Marquis de Caracas. The Marquis is a unique eccentric chaotic personality who goes on one of his equally eccentric adventures in London Below in this book. And then something happens. He loses his Coat. Or rather his Coat gets taken away from him. Well, now if you’ve read Neverwhere, you know that this is not just any other coat. It is the Coat, the Marquis’ Coat. And you can never really take the coat away from the Marquis any more than you can take the blue out of the sky.
So, in the few hours that the Marquis’ Coat gets taken away from him, Gaiman takes you on an adventure to recover it. What’s special about the coat? It’s got a few special peculiarities that let the Marquis keep a few tricks up his sleeve at all times. And it has got him out of situations that no person in London Below could have escaped from (at least that’s what I’d like to believe).
Now, without this particular Coat, how will the Marquis to get out of the predicament he is in the book? Gaiman picks up those elements from Neverwhere that made it such a fantastic read, only to connect this book subtly back to its origins. I felt a sense of longing while I was reading How the Marquis got his Coat Back. I wished for a few minutes that I was back in that world in all its glory. But as I said, the feeling lasted all of a few minutes, because the book lasted only for that long. Yes, it’s a short read. A very short read. Honestly, too short. Just 90 odd pages. Yet, you get a taste of the wonders Gaiman can create with words. And it’s enough to make you want to read more.
Have you read How the Marquis got his Coat Back or Neverwhere? Do share your thoughts with me about the books. Would love to hear about them. Until next time, bye!