This was my make-or-break book for Neil Gaiman. After American Gods I was like, well, maybe I don’t like Neil Gaiman. I just don’t think I “got” that book the way it was meant to be gotten.
Neverwhere kind of started that way too. I was into it at the beginning, I really liked and empathized with the character of Richard Mayhew, kind of a ne’er-do-well goofball with a dead-end job, a girlfriend with high expectations, and not much else going for him. Maybe he’s more relatable than Shadow was, for me. I liked Charlie Nancy from Ananzi Boys, and he fit the same kind of mold as Richard. Kind of a fuck-up, if you’ll pardon my francais. What can I say? I kind of dig damaged dudes.
The middle kind of started to drag out for me and I was like, this is it. It’s over between me and Neil. The voyage through Lower London, an underground version of the town we all know and love, became a bit tedious. I know there were probably multiple levels of meaning happening here, and I probably missed a lot of them, but even on face value there’s a lot going on.
And then he hooked me again. I think it was when the Marquis went up against the two baddie henchmen Croup and Vandemar, and I knew somehow he’d be ok. That’s kind of a spoiler, so I apologize if you haven’t read it. From there, I wanted to make sure that the good guys finished their journey safely.
It sounds like Gaiman is working on a sequel to this book, so that’s promising. AND!!! I just found out about the BBC radio version which included my future husband, Benedict Cumberbatch, as the Angel Islington. I have to figure out how to listen to this adaptation!
So I guess Neil and I are still pals. We’re not as tight as we used to be, but I’m not giving up on him.
I think Gaiman has his ups and downs. I definitely like some of his writing more than others (personally preferred American Gods to Neverwhere), but that can usually be chalked up to individual taste. American Gods is on my TBR, despite reading it last year, so I am interested to read it again and see if I feel the same love for it as I did then. Great review!
Thanks! I am excited for the TV adaptation of American Gods, except I don’t have Showtime 😦