Thursday, 10 May 2007

Neverwhere by Neil Caimon

Neverwhere centres around Richard Mayhew, whose has a bossy girlfriend, a dead end job, and a mind like a sieve so just an average guy. Rushing to an important dinner date that he has screwed up he notices a girl sprawled in the streets in a pool of blood. On the spur of the moment he stops to help , and with the shouts of his to be ex-girlfriend ringing in his ears, carries Door to safety. Doing this sucks him into the world of London Below that exists in the cracks of time and space as a consequence he loses his job, his home and even his sanity.

London below is the darkside of London above, full of the homeless, Roman solders, barons, witches, ...invisible to those that walk in the London we know. Black Friars do live under Blackfrairs, Angel, Islington is the home of an Angel and be afraid, very afraid of what lies at Knightsbridge. It was a book of a cult BBC2 series from 1996(no I didn't see it either) and appears to be still in strong demand. Perhaps driven by association based on his more popular Graphic Novel Sandman series. The book fits into the tongue in cheek SF comedy of a Pratchett or an Adams. Indeed I kept experiencing Richard Mayhew as Arthur Dent.

So did I enjoy it? It was inventive but the characters apart from Mr. Croup the talkative half of the pair of assassins and Mr. Vandemar, dull-witted, tall, and gangly, were two-dimensional. The plot is a text-book mythical cycle. Out of kilter ordinary world, called to adventure, enters the special word, makes friends, fights the allies of the evil one, is defeated but....

Its crying out to be a graphical novel or a film. And if done well then I would highly recommend them but not this book. This is to be read only if you can't find the latest Terry Prachett, or Robert Rankin and don't want to reread The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy again

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