Monday, June 13, 2016

TLC BOOK TOURS and REVIEW: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman


National Bestseller

Selected as one of NPR’S Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of All Time

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, 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.

Richard Mayhew is a young London businessman with a good heart whose life is changed forever when he stops to help a bleeding girl—an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed. Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in Neverwhere—a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Here in Neverwhere, Door is a powerful noblewoman who has vowed to find the evil agent of her family’s slaughter and thwart the destruction of this strange underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life and home, he must join Lady Door’s quest to save her world—and may well die trying.

Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 7, 2016)

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett)The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and MirrorsFragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College. 

Check out the author's website
Find the author's books at his online bookstore
Follow the author on Facebook, tumblrTwitter, and his blog.

My Thoughts
The night before he went to London, Richard Mayhew was not enjoying himself.
This story takes place in the London underworld-- a world unseen by those above; a sort of alternate dimension. Richard Mayhew is going about his business as an ordinary (perhaps extraordinarily ordinary) Londoner. About three years after moving to London from Scotland, he is working an ordinary job, and has somehow found himself engaged to Jessica, a beautiful if temperamentally questionable gallery worker. But on the night of an important dinner with Jessica's boss, Richard finds an injured girl on the street with the unusual name of Door. His encounter with Door spoils Jessica's plans with her boss, and Richard's life is totally upended. The next thing he knows, he is in London Below, where everything is very familiar and yet completely different from anything he's ever known.

London Below is a whole world that exists down in the underground tunnels and subway platforms and sewers. It's a world where rats are respected members of society with translators that speak for them, where floating markets pop up like raves. A dangerous place where the dead may walk again and the living are just grateful to be living another day.

Door has a special gift of being able to see and open hidden doors to other places, and she just lost her entire family in the most brutal of fashions. Now the same men who killed her family are after her, and Richard has become the most unlikely of champions.

I was first introduced to the author when a girlfriend of a co-worker gave me American Gods to read. I was just getting back into reading after a hiatus from fiction, and I had never read fantasy before. I just could not open my mind enough to embrace his novel, and quickly gave up on it, shaking my head and asking, "What the heck was that??"

However my mind is a little more open these days to fantasy and I decided to give the author another try. I'll admit that I was nervous about it. 

Sometimes fantasy can ask too much of me. I try to keep an open mind, but at times fantasy will completely defy physical laws. And I dislike lazy writing where absolutely anything can happen to propel a storyline forward. For instance, you may have a character in an impossible situation, so the writer has a bush turn into a horse so the character can ride off to safety, or something equally ridiculous. That sort of thing frustrates me, as ANYONE can do ANYTHING when there are no rules!

In Neverwhere, there is a logic to the insanity. As bizarre as the story could get and as outlandish as the characters were (often there was an early 1900s London feel to the world below), it was almost...believable.
I would like to thank TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour. Check out the website for the full tour schedule:

Tuesday, June 7th: Reading Reality
Wednesday, June 8th: 5 Minutes For Books
Thursday, June 9th: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
Friday, June 10th: Read. Write. Repeat.
Monday, June 13th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Tuesday, June 14th: Literary Feline
Wednesday, June 15th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Thursday, June 16th: Luxury Reading
Monday, June 20th: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, June 22nd: Ms. Nose in a Book
Thursday, June 23rd: Art @ Home

My final word: I can see what all of the hullabaloo is about surrounding this author. The London underground was the perfect setting for one of his stories. It's rich and loamy, dank and dreary. You can almost smell the mildew and mold, screwing up your eyes to see your way in the dark. His writing is divine (and divining), his ability to draw characters so fully that I can almost see them, smell their perfume, hear the rustle of their heavy garb, and I can feel the cold, damp concrete wall under my hand as I make my way through the tunnels as I follow them blindly. And I will follow them blindly. I'll follow them anywhere in the Neverwhere.

Buy Now:

Barnes and Noble

My Rating:

The Cerebral Girl is a forty-something blogger just digging her way out from under a mountain of books in the deep south of Florida.

I received a copy of this book to review through TLC Book Tours and the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. 


Look at Alaska Fishing Lodge said...

The novel, which expands on Gaiman's successful tv production, is a great read, whether you know London or not (yet). His style is fluid and engaging, his characters are very much alive and moving the various layers of intrigue along at a good pace. [

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I like that "almost believable" aspect of Gaiman's work - it really appeals to me.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!