Soon he finds himself living in a London most people would never have dreamed of: a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels. It is a world that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. And it is the home of Door, the girl whom Richard rescued, and whom, if he is ever to return home, he must now help in her mission to preserve this strange underworld kingdom from a mysterious figure determined to destroy it.
If Tim Burton rewrote Phantom of the Opera, if Jack Finney had a dark side, if you rolled up the best of Clive Barker, Peter Straub, and Caleb Carr into one, you still wouldn't have Neil Gaiman. In Neverwhere, he delivers one of the most absorbing reads to come along in years.
©1996, 1997 Neil Gaiman; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers
"Gaiman's gift for mixing the absurd with the frightful gives this novel the feeling of a bedtime story with adult sophistication. Readers will find themselves as unable to escape this tale as the characters themselves." (Library Journal)
"[Gaiman] is, simply put, a treasure house of story, and we are lucky to have him in any media." (Stephen King)
The audio is great. I loved how Neil Gaiman was able to create a feeling for every character. I didn't like some of the music that was played, but it was there to create a feeling of mystery I suppose. Luckily it wasn't inserted too often.
The story is a the tale of a simple man, Richard, being whisked off into an adventure he never expected and was not prepared for. I enjoyed listening to the story and was intrigued to see where it would lead next and how Richard would deal with the adventure. I like the characters in the story and found it well written with just the right amount of humor, grief and adventure.
So far, this is the only book I've ever given a 5 star rating. Neil Gaiman's style enchants with his marvelously painted characters and vivid, always entertaining, plot. Few writers approach his skill for not only capturing the soul of his characters but also doing so with such exquisite dialogue that each phrase plays flawlessly. He is truly a master of the written word. This books is well worth the price!
Gaiman likes otherworldly, mythical tales, and this one wanders around English folklore all the while telling a modern fantasy story in a interdimensional underground London. It's not his greatest work, but it's still better than many other people's greatest works. Some of the characters are simple or bare cartoon sketches. Others are more vivid and intricate, but a little stock. That's a minor criticism--the story is original enough and even the stock characters are portrayed so well that the whole tale is exciting and different and lively.
The book is also a minor education for us Americans, offering a nice glimpse of modern London culture mixed in with a bit of English history, without interrupting the story to do so. Not that Gaiman is on a level with or similar to Dickens, but you can tell he's read a lot of Dickens. He also, like Dickens, enjoys a well turned phrase or a clever pun, and rarely underestimates his audience's ability to follow him.
Gaiman himself reads this, and I enjoyed that. He must have some acting or voice training in his past, because he does a credible job, though not brilliant. What I like is the intimacy of having the author read it--somehow it feels more nuanced and more personal than many professional readers can muster.
Very good book. Worth the listen.
One more thing--I've seen some reviews say it's more for kids, and others say it's too graphic for kids. It is a bit graphic in violence at times, but not more than kids would see on network television. The story is not as mature as, say, American Gods. I'd say it's safe for anyone over twelve unless they are just squeamish. There may be a mention or two of sex, but I don't recall anything vivid. My kids listened, and I never cringed over it.
For any audio book the most important thing to me is enjoying the narrator's voice -- love Neil Gaiman reading his own work! The story is captivating and very engaging. Loved the imaginative use of London as the backdrop. Only taking one star off because it does take a little time to get into the story at first, but give it time! It's a great listen!
I'm trying to wean myself and learn to function without earbuds for more than ten minutes at a time. It hasn't been easy. I lose balance...
If you like a great voice reading you fairy tales this is the guy. Yes, it does remind you a little of Rowling with it's subway stations - but he not only did it first, but it's different. I'm never sad to relisten to a Gaiman tale. Don't miss his others. In fact, not to hear Anansi Boys or frankly, any is a mistake.
It's unfair for Mr. Gaiman to give us such great characters as Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar and not write a sequel.
I loved this book. It's hard to believe that this book is based on an awful british tv series.
I went to the theater and saw Stardust, loved it,
and thought Gaiman was a very clever and amusing writer.
Listened to the free copy here on Audible of A Study in Emerald, and bought American Gods and Anasi Boys in print.
I don't think it makes sense to be critical about
Gaiman, he breaks new territory and frankly you either get it or you don't. The door sort of pops open, and you are in London underworld. It's just not about you, and what you think; it's about the consistency of how he puts together his worlds and lets you visit. Whether you happen to like that visit is sort of beside the point because he is letting the characters do the talking and that's what they are coming up with. I'm just
happy to have made their acquaintance.
I have listened to several of his books and get swept up in them every time. I love to hear him narrate and the story lines give you the feeling of being transported somewhere else, and isn't that what a great book should do. I can't make up my mind if I like Marquis de Carabas of Neverwhere or Silas of The Graveyard Book best.
There really is no better way to experience a book than to have it read to you by the author. I sometimes had to consciously remind myself to pay attention to the story because my mind would drift away thinking how amazing it was to be hearing the story as Neil Gaiman intended it - the right words emphasized, the right tone of voice used, the characters using various accents. (As an American, the characters would have been much more boring in my head than the way Gaiman performed them!)
The story is magnificent. It's a grown-up's Alice in Wonderland. I bought the audiobook because I was going on a long car trip and I like listening to books while driving. Beware! You'll not want to put the story down! When the trip was over and the book wasn't, I locked myself away in a room simply to finish it.
If you are a casual listener that just wants to hit play and be done with it, this may not be the audiobook for you. There are parts where you'll have to strain (if even the tiniest bit) to hear the narration, or keep fiddling with the volume button. This was a minor thing for me, but it drove my husband crazy.
If you're reading this because you can't decide whether to buy it, let me make it easy for you: Get it. There will be no regrets. Enjoy!
While the story can sound a little juvenile at times (a product of the writing or the manner in which it's read, I'm not sure- but either way it's still only minor), it is a WONDERFUL, DELIGHTFUL thing; to hear it in the author's own voice. I LOVE hearing all the ways that the author himself imagines the characters, their intonations, their inflections, their voices.. instead of having it interpreted through a third party. His reading is MAGIC, and with all of the colour he puts behind his narration, you feel as if you're sitting in a circle at his feet, listening to a marvelously grand, modern fairy story, read by a very careful, introspective, & bewondered author. ^_^ Neil does all the voices and puts great acting behind every word, and I positively loved it. ^_^
This is the first full novel I've heard/read by Mr. Gaiman, and I can't wait to hear more. I found the DVD of the BBC interpretation of "Neverwhere" just before I found the novel here, so I can still see and hear all the characters from those episodes in Neil's reading. I don't know whether he's reading w/acknowledgement of those performances, or if they just followed his vision SUPER closely (like to the letter), but either way, this book was a grand read/listen. I highly recommend it!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.