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Publisher's Summary

National Best Seller

Selected as one of NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of All Time

The number one New York Times best-selling author's wildly successful first novel featuring his new Neverwhere tale, "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back".

Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.

"A fantastic story that is both the stuff of dreams and nightmares" (San Diego Union-Tribune), Neil Gaiman's first solo novel has become a touchstone of urban fantasy and a perennial favorite of readers and listeners everywhere.

©1996, 1997, 2014 Neil Gaiman (P)2007, 2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"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)
"Delightful…inventively horrific."( USA Today)
"[Gaiman] is, simply put, a treasure house of story, and we are lucky to have him in any media." (Stephen King)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • RJT
  • Thornton, CO
  • 10-27-07

Truly outstamding!

I normally do not write reviews, but I find this book is still rummaging around in my head long after the read.
On the surface, this is a book of nightmares and fairy tales; magic and monsters. On the surface, its an entertaining tale of an epic journey through the imagination.
Deeper though, Gainman brings an unlikely troupe of characters to life. There is an undercurrent, a story within a story if you will, where friendship blossoms, souls grow and mature in situations where both the very best of humanity and the worst of depravity are on display. It’s a story of how one man faces death time and again to gain everything he thought he ever wanted – and discovers it has no meaning when it cannot be shared with those he loves. In the end, Richard finds it is not what we have but who we have that makes our lives worth living.
After several previous experiences, I admit I was somewhat apprehensive about an author reading his own work. However, Gainman does an excellent job narrating this novel and bringing the story to life.

205 of 216 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Neverwhere is Great

Sometimes hearing the book read aloud kills the story and sometimes it merely aids in the telling of the story. In this edition, the telling makes the story. Having the author read his own work is a potentially iffy situation. But here, Gaiman imbues his characters with such richness that you can't imagine just reading the book. I am not a huge fan of the fantasy genre and classifying this book as fantasy is not quite fair. It is a great adventure that keeps you guessing right up until the end. I highly recommend it.

149 of 157 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Cliff
  • madison, MS, United States
  • 02-03-14

You must read this one.

This book is to urban fantasy what Lord of the Rings is to epic fantasy in my opinion. I defy you to read this one and not note at least a dozen ways other urban fantasy authors have lifted from Gaiman. This is a great fantasy world and an excellent read. The amazing thing is the author reads this one himself and does a great job. Usually, the author reading his own work is the kiss of death but Gaiman pulls it off. This one is definitely worth spending a credit.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I've never written a review before, but I had to for this book. I wanted it to last because I was so wrapped up in Richard's journey, but I just couldn't stop listening. I was terribly sad when the book finally ended. Enjoy!

61 of 65 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joseph
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 10-29-09

Vivid, imaginative.

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.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • cindy
  • ramona, CA, United States
  • 02-28-10

Dont miss this. It is Brilliant.

You can tell that the narrator/author has a true affinity for each of the characters he created in this luminous and dark feel each of the characters in every syllable he speaks for them. The writing is imaginative, clever, funny, suspenseful and in the end, you truly feel like you've been somewhere you never even imagined you could go....which to me, is the hallmark of a phenomenal book. Fabulous.

42 of 45 people found this review helpful

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  • Janice
  • Sugar Land, TX, United States
  • 11-07-12

Fantasy grunge

The first thing I want to say is that the performance of this book by the author elevates the story to heights that could not have been achieved by reading the text alone. Neil Gaiman is a true actor, creating a world and its inhabitants so vividly, you feel you are walking the Underside with Richard, Door and all the rest. There were a couple of spots early on when the sound effects drowned out the voices, and I was worried that these production problems would kill the enjoyment of the story. It was a temporary problem however, and overall the performance score is an enthusiastic 5.

The story is a strange one - Mr. Gaiman's fans may be prepared for this, but this was my first of his titles. It's almost like a grungy underground Wizard of Oz meets Lord of the Rings. Because it is so grungy - really, the atmosphere and characters are very dark, dirty, dangerous and cynical - I found myself wishing for at least a touch of the magic of those other two classics (is there a Good Witch in the house?). Richard was a mostly engaging hero, but did seem kind of slow to catch on that it was not only useless, but probably not smart to argue with the Underside creatures about what their world is all about. (You're not in Kansas anymore). This stole away one star (honestly, more like just half a star) from the story quality, and may not even be a problem to many other readers. I did enjoy the journey - had some of it figured out in advance, not all of it. I'm encouraged to try other titles from this author, especially if he reads his own words.

81 of 90 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Ah Gaiman

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jim
  • Sioux Falls, SD, USA
  • 07-23-08


I had read both Anansi Boys and American Gods so I was looking forward to another slightly offbeat yet thoroughly entertaining book and I was rewarded beyond my expectations. Neil Gaiman is not only a wonderful writer, but a narrator to rival the best. His voicing made his characters come alive in my heart and mind. I was left wanting to see more of the wonderful world he created and to hear more of the adventures of poor Richard who was just discovering who he was.

35 of 39 people found this review helpful

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Dig in and be spellbound

One of the best Neil Gaiman pieces out there , it is the usual mix of the bizarre , the scary , the heartwrenching and the humor that will make this into a go to book for you forever. Both the audiobook and the movie adaptation are wonderful . Go ahead , buy this book !

5 of 5 people found this review helpful