Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 2003, 370 pages)
After rereading The Ocean at the End of the Lane and listening to a few interviews/readings by Neil Gaiman I was ready to try out another of his books, but I wanted one as an audiobook narrated by the author. I had a few options available from the library and a long drive to Ohio ahead of me. Neverwhere was the title that won out.
Richard Mayhew lives in London and while it seems like his life is on a pretty straight-forward trajectory everything changes when he takes it upon himself to help a young woman named Door. Door comes from a different London, known as “London Below.” London Below is a place inhabited by fantastical people that don’t have a place in the world they refer to as “London Above.” Richard’s decision to help Door results in him having to leave the world he’s always known and inhabit London Below. This sets him down a path he never could have imagined, and all he wants is to return to the life he had before Door came into his life.
My summary doesn’t really do the book justice because the majority of the magic in this book lies in Gaiman’s storytelling prowess. Gaiman’s narration of this book was a really enjoyable experience. If you’re new to Neil Gaiman or haven’t had the chance to hear his voice, I’d certainly recommend trying one of his titles as an audiobook.