Takeaway: Do you really want what you think you want?
Neverwhere has been on my to read list for quite a while. I really like Neil Gaiman as an author. My favorite book of his books is American Gods (my review). There really are few modern authors that get the idea of modern fantasy like Gaiman.
Neverwhere follows Richard Mayhew. Richard is a nice London guy. He stops to help a girl that is hurt. What he does not realize is that the girl is not part of the ordinary world, but part of London Below. Once he helps her, he ceases to exist in the regular London Above. Suddenly the simple, easy world of London above is replaced by a much darker, more dangerous world of London Below. Door, the girl he helped, is actually being hunted by two assassins that have been behind much of the disasters of the past 3000 years. Door, with Richard and several others, must find the key to why her family has been killed, why the assassins are after her, and maybe how to get Richard back to London above.
Gaiman has lots of humor, although much of it is fairly dark. I also really like the fact that Gaiman treats the reader as intelligent. He has lots literary references, especially to mythology. Gaiman doesn’t name drop these references but uses them to enhance the story. If you do not get the reference, it is probably OK because the reference will make sense in context of the story.
I have had Neverwhere on my list for quite a while. My wife’s cousin gave me a copy several months ago. In the meantime, I decided to watch the BBC mini-series on Netflix. The mini-series is six 30 minute episodes. It is very true to the book. So I had a very good idea of the story before I read it. I actually thought the mini-series was very good, but no movie can quite get all of the internal processing and thought down. And obviously it will not show the intricacy of the language.
If you decide to listen to the audiobook, it is Neil Gaiman that is narrating. I am a fan of the author narrating and he does a good job on it.