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.