By: Neil Gaiman
Review Posted By: Melanie Nilsen
Review Posted: August 7, 2003
“It starts with doors”
An old woman stated this as Richard Mayhew attempted to collect himself outside of a pub one rainy evening. Some 183 doors later, I am apt to agree.
Neverwhere is the story of an average man. Richard Mayhew has a steady job, a steady girlfriend and nice apartment in London. By all accounts, he is destined to live an ordinary life. However, fate has something different in mind for Richard when he encounters a strange young girl bleeding on the sidewalk. Will he choose to ignore this unusual event? Or will he join her in an amazing journey?
What impresses me about Neverwhere is that Gaiman doesn’t choose an imaginary location. The story is set entirely in London- subterranean London to be exact. It is a world both fanciful and strangely beautiful, where dreams and nightmares co-mingle to create this richly textured fantasy. It forces you into perceiving the world differently, and prompts one into questioning the significance of the doors one chooses to open and those that may remain forever locked. Is it best to choose the simple life? Or is there something more extraordinary in the world? Do heroes and monsters exist? Or are they nothing more than figures of our collective imaginations?
The story was both thrilling and intelligent. There was no lack of movement and action for the event-oriented reader. There was no lack of symbolism and mystery for those who wish to look a little deeper. Gaiman provides a number of sympathetic characters, many of whom you are sad to say goodbye to as the book closes.
Yes, it all begins with doors… I only wish this one weren’t closed already. Sequel, Gaiman. PLEASE!?