Wednesday, November 4, 2009
"Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman
Musings: I picked this up at my school library from recognizing Gaiman's name. Unintentionally, I also ended up with Good Omens at about the same time, so I was a little wary of beginning Neverwhere since I'd just read another of his books (I try to space out genres, subjects, and authors, if possible, but I've been failing miserably at that recently). Fortunately Neverwhere was right up my genre alley and was sufficiently different from Good Omens to avoid deja vu.
Although Everwhere possesses some of the random sardonic humor that marks Good Omens, humor is not at the core of the work. Instead, Everwhere is a fully-fledged fantasy adventure novel full of strange worlds, bizarre customs, and extraordinary characters (notice all the synonyms for weird?). Although there's not anything particularly new or ground-breaking about the story line (it follows the heroic cycle perfectly-- not that that's unusual), I enjoyed going along for the ride with the warm characters. You pull for Richard the entire time as life continues to smack him in the face, and he continues to pick himself back up again. The delightful marquis de Carabas takes some unexpected turns and even the henchmen Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar were fun to be around.
The book has a satisfying and appropriate end, and I missed Richard and Door--a little bit--once they were gone.
P.S. Just learned that Neverwhere was first a BBC television series before being adapted into a book. Wow; I don't think I've ever seen literature come from that directions. Almost makes me feel somehow differently about it all. It was still a great read, but I think I'm glad I didn't know going in.