Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
A Novel

78%

21 Critic Reviews

Good story, good characters, and Gaiman's dry and well managed humor brings this nicely into my list of permanent audiobooks for the iPhone I have with me all the time.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

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.

A hallucinatory fantasia of mystery, mythology, and terror that "draws equally from George Lucas, Monty Python, Doctor Who, and John Milton" (USA Today), Neverwhere is an "Alice in Wonderland with a punk edge" (Poppy Z. Brite), "that is both the stuff of dreams and nightmares" (San Diego Union-Tribune).

 

About Neil Gaiman

See more books from this Author
Neil Gaiman is the nationally bestselling author of The Graveyard Book, the only book ever to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie Medals. He lives near Minneapolis, MN. You can visit him online at www.mousecircus.com.Michael Reaves is an Emmy Award-winning television writer and novelist who has written, story-edited, or produced nearly four hundred teleplays for various series. He lives in California. You can visit him online at www.michaelreaves.com.
 
Published March 17, 2009 by William Morrow. 400 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Children's Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Mar 04 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for Neverwhere
All: 21 | Positive: 17 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Good
on Jun 24 2010

Altogether, Gaiman's story is consistently witty, suspenseful, and hair-raisingly imaginative in its contemporary transpositions of familiar folk and mythic materials (one can read Neverwhere as a postmodernist punk Faerie Queene). Readers who've enjoyed the fantasy novels of Tim Powers and William Browning Spencer won't want to miss this one.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Aug 07 2015

Gaiman blends history and legend to fashion a traditional tale of good versus evil, replete with tarnished nobility, violence, wizardry, heroism, betrayal, monsters and even a fallen angel. The result is uneven. His conception of London Below is intriguing, but his characters are too obviously symbolic...

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Sommerfeldt on Jun 28 2010

Good story, good characters, and Gaiman's dry and well managed humor brings this nicely into my list of permanent audiobooks for the iPhone I have with me all the time.

Read Full Review of Neverwhere: A Novel | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Richard Marcus on Oct 24 2006

Neverwhere is a wonderful adventure story about a journey through a vast underground world full of wonders and horrors. It is also about the same journey we each can choose to make through our own world of wonder and horrors that lies within us.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Richard Marcus on Oct 24 2006

Neverwhere is a wonderful adventure story about a journey through a vast underground world full of wonders and horrors. It is also about the same journey we each can choose to make through our own world of wonder and horrors that lies within us. Enjoy it for the story, and think about it for yourself.

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Examiner

Above average
Reviewed by Emily Ayres on Jan 16 2014

This fantasy novel, published back in 1996, is arguably flawed, but still contains considerable charm and substance...A few gaps exist in the story, but in all, this novel is a fun, twisting ride through a dark, wholly original world.

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Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by BookpgMarL on Jan 22 2011

I raced through this book because it was simply fascinating --- the plot was really new and different. The rich description and character development were a pleasure to read. I found myself happy with the ending, but wishing the story would go on.

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Pajiba

Good
Reviewed by TrasannotTarzan on May 09 2013

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors, and like all his works, I found Neverwhere a treat to read. A wonderful fantasy adventure, though probably not a classic. I would recommend the book to any Gaiman fan that hasn't read it yet, and anyone else in the market for a good fantasy romp.

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Pajiba

Above average
Reviewed by Admin on Mar 03 2010

Neverwhere is a perfectly fine read for those that are fans of Gaiman's other works and I'm sure that I may be in the minority with my less than stellar impressions of the book...While it's interesting to read Gaiman's take on the adventure, you always know what's coming next. I just didn't connect with this book like I do with most others.

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SF Site

Above average
Reviewed by S. Kay Elmore on Nov 01 1998

Neverwhere is a fairy tale for grown ups. It's a gothic novel in the vein of the early 80s London music scene rather than in the literary sense...It's a good page-turner; entertaining with more than a little wit and the darkly comic relief of a pair of truly nasty assassins who get testy if they aren't allowed to kill something every day or two.

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SF Site

Good
Reviewed by Alice Dechene on Jan 30 1997

One of the most intriguing aspects of this novel is the development of London itself as a character...Gaiman beautifully orchestrates scenes, fractionally unveiling psychological and physical terrors until the unwary reader totters as unsteadily as Richard on the brink of this terrifying world.

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PopMatters

Good
Reviewed by NATASHA GATIAN on Sep 21 2015

This tale suggests that every resident of London Below has a story, and Gaiman effortlessly expands and deepens his world to tell one of them.

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SF Signal

Above average
Reviewed by Scottsh on Sep 17 2005

Neil’s debut novel isn’t up to the high standards set by later works such as American Gods and the masterful Good Omens (co-authored with Terry Pratchett) but is still an enjoyable read.

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CNN.com

Above average
Reviewed by David Mandeville on Feb 25 1999

The plot is pretty standard fantasy fare -- a great quest, with the unusual setting of modern London. But Gaiman's just-south-of-real storytelling never falls into the formula rut. His quirky characters and odd circumstances draw the reader in to the tale.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Liam R on Aug 08 2015

It doesn't scream classic fantasy, but that's one of the aspects that make it inspiring. Neverwhere combines modern world settings and characters, and transplants them into a rich, full, and all together amazing new world...Picking up this book is definitely a good idea, for those who are Gaiman fans, fans of the genre...

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Fantasy Book Review

Good
Reviewed by Joshua S Hill on Jun 27 2015

Neverwhere is a frighteningly funny book at times, but never in an overt sense...this book is more often than not a book based in a dark reality, one that is rewarding, yes, but tough to live in and fraught with danger...A bit of mythology, a bit of fantasy, a bit of urban drama and a whole lot of London makes this book a definite must read.

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Things Mean a Lot

Good
Reviewed by Ana S on Jun 16 2007

What we get in this book is a glimpse of a world that is too large to fit its pages, but this is what the best fantasy does...it builds a world that is fully alive, complete with background stories, its own tales and myths and unexplored corners...I had forgotten how much I love the ending of this book...To find out how, go on and read this book.

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The Literary Omnivore

Good
Reviewed by The Literary Omnivore on Jul 26 2009

A great introduction to the wonderful world of Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere is fascinating and intriguing, although it doesn’t quite stand up to Gaiman’s later works. If you’ve never read Gaiman, read this before you move onto his other novels.

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Fantasy Faction

Good
Reviewed by Doug Smith on Nov 12 2012

First off, Neil Gaiman’s prose is superb. It’s fast-paced, bizarre and extremely clever. He uses the nuances of language to create sentences which tell mini-stories of their own. Almost every sentence could be ripped out of this book and used as a quote – it’s that good...

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A Book and Short Latte

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth Bennet on Jul 29 2011

While Neverwhere might have been Neil Gaiman’s first solo novel, it is to me his greatest...Neverwhere is a fully realized and brilliantly executed excursion into the mind of one of today’s best writers...If you are an urban fantasy fan, I urge you to pick up this lesser-known work...

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Nicki Markus

Excellent
Reviewed by Nicki on Sep 28 2014

Neverwhere is a delightful tale that captured my imagination right from the first page. I love the quirky characters, and the story moves at a fast-pace with plenty of excitement and surprise along the way. I think this is my favourite Neil Gaiman book so far.

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Reader Rating for Neverwhere
85%

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Clappy Shombow 26 Apr 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

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