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Reading Log: Neverwhere


Neil Gaiman is best known in some circles as the author of the The Sandman comics or graphic novels. He's been branching out into children's stories (Coraline and The Wolves in the Walls), and Neverwhere is one of his adult novels. The blurb on the back from the Mpls STrib calls Neverwhere "a dark contemporary 'Alice in Wonderland,'" which is pretty accurate.

Richard Mayhew breaks a date with his socialite fiancee in order to assist the bleeding homeless girl they've just come upon. Little does he know that getting involved with Door, the only surviving member of the Portico family, will force him into a journey in the dark, medieval London below.

The inhabitants of London below are those people who have fallen through the cracks. They have been overlooked and lost from London ablove. (As a side note, there are also collectors in London below who find all of the items that we lose here above: socks, jewelry, umbrellas, keys, you name it.) None of the rules are the same in London below; places that don't exist above, do exist below, and even a simple kiss can get one killed. Door is on a quest to find out who had her family killed and why, and because she's his only source of knowledge about London below, Richard is swept into Door's adventures.

I wasn't too impressed with Coraline, but I did enjoy Neverwhere. This novel is darker than Charles de Lint's urban fantasy, but I'm always interested in exploring the ideas of worlds that exist parallel to what we call the "real" world.