Neverwhere

Neverwhere

eBook - 2009
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author's ultimate edition of his wildly successful first novel featuring his "preferred text"-and including his special Neverwhere tale "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back" Published in 1997, Neil Gaiman's darkly hypnotic first novel, Neverwhere, heralded the arrival of a major talent and became a touchstone of urban fantasy. Over the years, a number of versions were produced both in the U.S. and the U.K. Now Gaiman's preferred edition of his classic novel reconciles these works and reinstates a number of scenes cut from the original published books. Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he discovers a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her-an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed. Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in the Neverwhere-a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. The Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Door, a noblewoman whose family has been murdered, is on a quest to find the agent that slaughtered her family and thwart the destruction of this underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life, he must join the journey to save Door's world-and find a way to survive.
Publisher: [United States] : Harper Collins Publishers, 2009
Characteristics: 1 online resource
ISBN: 9780061793059 (electronic bk.)
0061793051 (electronic bk.)
Call Number: eBook hoopla
Alternative Title: Never where

Opinion

From Library Staff

This compelling urban fantasy is portrayed through a unique cast of characters in a secret London underworld kingdom, Neverwhere. Richard, an ordinary businessman, slips through the cracks of London’s streets into a shadowy world of labyrinths, monsters, and saints. To return home he must help no... Read More »

When regular guy, Jonathan Mayhew, stops to help a young girl, he is drawn into a fantastical world under his native London.

Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single ac... Read More »

Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. And a stran... Read More »

Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single ac... Read More »


From the critics


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OPL_JacobL Apr 10, 2020

An amazing allegorical portal fantasy story penned by one of the greatest authors of the modern age, Neil Gaiman. In Neverwhere, Richard Mayhew lives an ordinary life with an ordinary fiancée and an ordinary office job (which he only moderately enjoys). One night, after a particularly bad outing with his fiancée, he finds a young woman named "Door" who lies battered and unconscious in the street. Richard decides to nurse Door back to health at his small apartment, only to realize that in doing so, he has been pulled into the dark mystical world of the London Underground, where people who have fallen through the cracks of society reside. It is there that he must face the all-consuming Darkness, journey to a bizarre bazaar that sells all manner of trash and treasures, and face a perilous trial of which none other has survived. Richard's world may never be the same again.

sjpl_DanaLibrariana Feb 25, 2020

I find all of Neil Gaiman's books to be a reading delight and Neverwhere was no exception. I appreciated the details in the character development which made it easy for me to form emotional attachments to them. I loved Gaiman's rich descriptions of Neverwhere and its inhabitants. I also appreciated the dry humor sprinkled liberally throughout the book.

When Richard Mayhew stops to assist an injured girl, he never imagined his life would change forever. Set underneath the familiar sights and sounds of London, the story carries Richard and his companions on a dark, dangerous adventure. The plot involves magic, murder and, of course, a mysterious beast.

y
ytenka
Feb 02, 2020

audiobook

s
SandraLH
Jan 03, 2020

Found this on my Completed List and had forgotten to leave a comment for reference. Didn't recall the story until I reviewed other comments.
Yes — this fantasy story has many facets that parallel reality and display human nature — Richard stops to help someone, but his fiancee is completely oblivious to the girl’s apparent suffering. It is bizarre and interesting, with some very creepy and frightening characters. I do enjoy stories that take place in London. Falling into a strange underground world made the story both scary and intriguing. May read again sometime. . .

s
Shaylaina
Dec 29, 2019

When I was reading reviews in Goodreads, Richard's character came up a lot. Some readers didn't feel he was even necessary. They thought he gave up to easy and was whiny.
There is often a character who is out-of-sorts and finding their way in books. He did grow some during the book. I don't feel he really earned the credit to take Hunter's place/kill. Though he was there and stood his ground.
The 2 bad guys are the worse. Gross!
I much preferred thinking, Doreen instead of Door, when I read her name.
I found the underground world fascinating and in depth.
The Count was rather cool and I felt horrible about all he went through.
I see the second book is coming out in 2020. I hope Richard grows with intelligence, observation and survival techniques in the underworld. I would like to see him make something of himself. Maybe earn himself something like the fancy coat the Count wears.
I liked the Earl in the Earl's court.
Maybe Richard will learn how to navigate the underworld and learn how the train system works, and make some friends along the way.

i
InsJavert
Oct 09, 2019

Not quite what I expected, although enjoyable. I would call this fantasy fiction for not knowing what else to call it. The story has adventure with a touch of magic and potions, mixed with a dash of odd characters, with a pinch of love just to bring it to completion.

For my likes, a story has to have believability. Fantasy fiction does not fill that bill for me and therefore I have trouble keeping up with story plots like this. Odd, as I thoroughly enjoyed the Hobbit as well as the other books by Tolkein. This just didn't bring it together as well.

k
kmcdouall
Aug 15, 2019

One of the creepiest books ever written!

_agaleano Mar 20, 2019

Choosing a favourite between Neil Gaiman’s books is akin to choosing a favourite snowflake. They are all different, and equally beautiful. Each book has its own distinctive voice, and each has something to say about the reality we live in and what it means to be human. But one of Gaiman’s stories that is very dear to me is Neverwhere. It exists in many formats: a television series; a novel; a comic book; a stage play; an all-star radio adaptation; an Author’s Preferred Text edition; and an audiobook. Every version is brilliant, but my favourite is the audiobook of the Author’s Preferred Text edition—the equivalent of the director’s cut in the literary world—read by the author.

In Neverwhere, Richard Mayhew is with his fiancée, Jessica, on their way to have dinner with her boss when a door opens and a girl in bulky clothes stumbles into the street and collapses. While Jessica simply walks over the girl as if she were invisible, Richard stops to help her. This act of kindness changes his life forever. The girl’s name is Door and she comes from a London that exists below the one Richard knows. It is a London where magic and darkness are very real and so are angels and monsters. The inhabitants of London Below are those that have fallen through the cracks in society, and are thus invisible to the people of London Above. When Richard helps Door return safely to London Below, he inadvertently becomes part of London Below and invisible to the people around him. Taxis won’t stop to pick him up, people that have known him for years act like he doesn’t exist anymore, and the only people that see him are those the rest of society also seems to not see, those without a home. Richard then begins a dangerous journey into London Below to find his way back to his life in London Above.

Neverwhere is an excellent example of how fantasy can sometimes expose reality more deeply than other genres. Neverwhere explores the theme of homelessness and how people can fall through the cracks and become invisible simply by being different. It invites us to look at our world with critical lenses, and makes it impossible to walk by human suffering without acknowledging it. No person should be invisible.

a
AConsolver
Jan 10, 2019

4 Stars - I recommend if you are looking for excellent writing, vivid world building, and a completely original fantasy plot.

Richard Mayhew's life is right on track, if not a little average. He's a business man, and he's engaged to a woman he's been politely dating for some time. His chance meeting with a wounded girl catapults him into the world of London Below. A place that no upworlder knows exists. An incredibly dangerous place filled with criminals, beasts, sewer people, danger, and rats. How can Richard survive London Below, and make it back to his London Above life in one piece?

It took me a little while to get into this book, the world and how it was written. It was immediately apparent how great of a writer Gaiman is. However, I wasn't sure that this story was for me. The world building was incredible, everything was written in such a vivid way which I adored. However, there was not a lot of linear plot until about 65-70% through the book. I will admit that I put this book down for several months. I just wasn't into it. I picked it back up and finished it very quickly. Once we got into more of the action piece of the story I quite liked it. Overall, maybe not my favorite Gaiman story, but I did end up liking it quite a bit. The world building, and incredible writing make up for any of the bits that I found were not my favorite within the plot.

I felt like I’d been on an extreme rollercoaster ride after reading this book. We follow Richard Mayhew, a very ordinary Englishman, until he suddenly falls through a crack into the alternate universe of London Below. He wanders the subterranean world of the London Underground where he meets up with some very frightening beings, but there is enough humour in this book to make even the darkest moments entertaining. I never knew what to expect or whether Mayhew would prevail against the dark forces right up until the end. The book is based on a six-part BBC TV series.

Gaiman is a witty and creative writer and I’ve enjoyed all of his books so far. However, Neverwhere is still my favourite.

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c
C_Bara
Jul 24, 2016

"...I would hate to remove an option before it was necessary. Anyway death is so final, isn't it?"

a
AdamsonJu50
Jun 21, 2016

"Have you ever got everything you ever wanted? And then realized it wasn't what you wanted at all?"......"I thought I wanted this," said Richard. "I thought I wanted a nice, normal life. I mean, maybe. But if this is all there is, then I don't want to be sane. You know?"

l
leah_p
Mar 09, 2016

“Richard wrote a diary entry in his head.

Dear Diary, he began. On Friday I had a job, a fiancée, a home, and a life that made sense. (Well, as much as any life makes sense). Then I found an injured girl bleeding on the pavement, and I tried to be a Good Samaritan. Now I've got no fiancée, no home, no job, and I'm walking around a couple of hundred feet under the streets of London with the projected life expectancy of a suicidal fruitfly.”

p
pagetraveler
Jul 05, 2013

The boy had the towering arrogance only seen in the greatest of artists and all nine-year-old boys.

l
LazyNeko
Sep 21, 2011

"You don't ask any questions. You don't get any answers. You don't stray from the path. You don't even think about what's happening to you right now. Got it?"

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pagetraveler
Jul 05, 2013

Another great story from Neil Gaiman. This one takes place in the Underworld of London.

i
isilme
Nov 12, 2012

When Richard Mayhew stops one day to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk, his life is forever altered, for he finds himself propelled into an alternate reality that exists in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.

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Brenda74 Nov 12, 2012

Brenda74 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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