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Neverwhere (London Below, The World of Neverwhere)

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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  215,474 ratings  ·  10,947 reviews
Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindnes
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Paperback, 370 pages
Published September 2nd 2003 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 1996)
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cookiemonger The author's preferred text is lightly revised (more like added to, really) and also available in audio. I don't think the differences are major, but…moreThe author's preferred text is lightly revised (more like added to, really) and also available in audio. I don't think the differences are major, but the many small additions to the text are quite good, in my opinion. Not to the point that you should read both editions, but I would recommend seeking out the preferred text.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Steve
I didn't enjoy this book as much as I should have. I kept distracting myself with the thought, "Why the hell haven't I read more of Neil Gaiman's books?" Then I would have to tell myself to shut up, because I'm reading one right now, and I can return to berating myself later.

Neil Gaiman really understands fantasy. He understands that it isn't elves dancing in a forest and drunk dwarves mining for gold with improbably well maintained beards. No, fantasy is a reflection of reality, but fantastic.
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Nataliya
Neverwhere was my first real introduction to the world of urban fantasy - a clever take on Alice in Wonderland, one can say, set in the semi-magical, unsubtly dangerous, and quite fantastically warped world of 'London Below'.
"Young man," he said, "understand this: there are two Londons. There's London Above - that's where you lived - and then there's London Below - the Underside - inhabited by the people who fell through the cracks in the world. Now you're one of them. Good night."


Neverwhere is
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Kat Kennedy
I first started reading this book and honestly wanted to just chuck it in the bin. I said very mean things about the protagonist under my breath.

Surely, I said, a Protagonist means that they are pro and totally into furthering the story. Surely, Protagonist is the similar to Proactive and Productive.

I was wrong. The word Protagonist, in its basic form is not similar to proactive. It simply, from the Greek plays, means the principle character or the first speaking character.

However, I maintain th
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Rick Riordan
Okay, so people have been telling me to read Neil Gaiman for ages. They assume I've read American Gods because the premise is similar to the Percy Jackson series. Well, I still haven't read American Gods, but I did pick up Neverwhere in the Heathrow airport and read it on the way back home. I enjoyed it a lot. Great fantasy, wonderful sense of humor. I can understand why Gaiman is so popular. I'll have to look up his other books.
James
Oct 23, 2007 James rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kids
Shelves: fantasy
Picture Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Really good books right? Now imagine if someone took the first book and mad libbed characters, settings, monsters, etc, so that you were left with the exact same story except instead of travelling the galaxy with your crazy friend and the most powerful man in the universe, you were travelling in haunted British sewers with a nerd's wet dream of a Xena warrior princess rival and a Gothic princess who can unlock doors (sigh). I don't think there is much o ...more
Scarlet
Dear Book,

Why did you get over so soon?? Why did you get over at all?? :(

I could have spent many more hours exploring those underground tunnels in the company of those wonderful people, and reveling in the amazing things that some of them - especially marquis de Carabas - had to say.

I could have spent many more days reading and re-reading those delightfully formed sentences, laughing at the intelligent absurdity of it even when not-so-scary villains were doing not-so-pretty things.

I could have s
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Neverwhere is one of those books that answers the 'what if' question about the city in which you live your days, going through your admittedly 'mundane' routines. In this case, London. What if there was a London Below, a strange world which consists of Underground railways, tunnels, sewers, and sometimes uncannily parallels the London that the average inhabitant thought they knew but didn't, and in a way that seems a lot more interesting? It's a scary place, not terribly clean and sanitary. But ...more
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jul 31, 2013 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: subway commuters - Neil Gaiman and Urban Fantasy fans
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Ulrike Conrad
Pure indulgence, the sort of book to tuck in with on a cold wet weekend. Again I'm trying out a new genre - for my 1st shot at ‘urban fantasy’ I picked this one, it's Gaiman’s solo debut. A premise that hooked because it made perfect sense to me. I mean anyone who’s taken a subway alone late at night, who’s glanced nervously down the track into a damp tunnel dimly lit by flickering lights would agree - if there IS a one-way portal to a subterranean world that’s where it's most likely to be...Plu ...more
Traveller

*7/10 spangly shooting stars

A contemporary urban fantasy novel in typical slightly off-beat Gaiman style. It's mainly a portal fantasy (the kind where you go from the "everyday" world to a "special" world through some kind of portal, as with Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe / The Magician's Nephew, Harry Potter Boxset, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Fionavar Tapestry, etc.). The 'alternate world' (the world where Londoners who "fall through the cracks" go), has the sett
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Madeline
God damn it, Goodreads, when are you going to let me use half-star ratings? You had enough time to make those hideous green "want to read" tabs next to every damn book in my newsfeed; could you please throw me a bone and stop confining me to full stars? I demand half stars, Goodreads. Particularly for this review, because three stars seems unfairly low, and four stars is a bit much.

Neverwhere is early Gaiman (published in 1996), and it shows. You can see him working on the formula that would ma
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Charlene
Neverwhere (The Author's Preferred Version) read by Neil Gaiman.

What can I say? The author's narration of this book just made a great thing even greater. Listening to this was sublime.That is all.
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Richard Mayhew is an ordinary young man working in London, with a fiancee, Jessica, a small flat and a life more-or-less figured out. By Jessica. He's not a particularly brave man, or imaginative, and Jessica has his life all sorted for him.

Everything in his life is turned upside-down - quite literally - when he stumbles across an injured girl on the footpath who asks for his help. Despite Jessica's insistence that he leave her there for someone else to take care of, he carries her back to his
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*Audible edition read by full BBC cast: (Christopher Lee, James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, David Harewood, Sophie Okonedo, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anthony Head ).*

Wow, what an awesome listen! The only problem? I have to go back and get the ebook because the BBC cast version was abridged and I feel like I missed huge chunks of the story.

This is my first experience with an audiobook that is more like a theater production. I felt like I was at a play with my eyes closed. There were sound effects, at le
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Ronyell
Neverwhere

“Imagine living in a world where you think that everything has become familiar to you, but then you realize that there is a different world far beyond the one you know.”

I have not read much of Neil Gaiman’s books geared towards adults, until I first read “American Gods,” which was a book that I enjoyed intensely. But now, I have a new favorite from Neil Gaiman’s books geared towards adults and that is “Neverwhere!” Full of adventure, horror and romance, “Neverwhere” is certainly one of Neil Ga
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Michael
For me this was just the right balance of whimsy and mythological drama. A fun urban fantasy refreshingly free of vampires and werewolves. There is real elegance how it hooks you in and takes you on a wild ride. The heroes are minimally sketched ciphers the readers are invited to project themselves into. They take shape mainly from their quests: Richard wants to get back his ordinary boring life; Door wants to avenge the murder of her family; Hunter wants to kill the Great Beast of London. They ...more
Magdalena
It was a good book. I'm glad I have read it. Gaiman created a fantastic world. But for me something is missing to give it a higher grade. And the biggest problem I have with the book is that the characters felt a bit flat. I just didn't care much for anyone of them. A great book makes you care for the charcters, suffer with them all the way, and mourn for them if something happens. It just didn't happen with me with this book.

Review also posted on And Now for Something Completely Different and
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Lyn
Upon beginning a review of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman my first thoughts were to write that even a bad Gaiman novel was better than most other authors best work.

But this is unfair, Neverwhere is not a “bad” novel at all.

Compared to Stardust or Anansi Boys, or especially the masterpiece American Gods, it lacks the epic presence and may even be categorized as one of Gaiman’s lesser works.

What is present, though, is Gaiman’s phenomenal writing, his brilliant and original imagination and his abilit
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Stephen
6.0 stars. One of my ALL Time Favorite novels. Neil Gaiman's ability to create "original" characters and settings that virtually leap off the page at you is astounding. This ia a true gem of a book and is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys great writing with superb characters. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!

Nominee: British Fantasy Award
Nominee: Mythopoeic Fantasy Award
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
Sep 07, 2011 colleen the fabulous fabulaphile rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a good story
After reading Neverwhere for the second time, it remains one of, if not thee, favorite book of mine by Gaiman. There really aren't many flaws to this book. I love the world and the idea that the people who 'slip through the cracks' exist in this other world beneath the world. I even love the slight ambiguity that it could be that Richard is actually just crazy, through I prefer to think of it as real.

I love the way the story unfolds. We are given information piece-meal, receiving it as our prota
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Kim
My only experience with Neil Gaiman’s writing (other than a viewing of Coraline) was Anansi Boys, which happened to be the sequel to American Gods to which no one had bothered to tell me about. So, yeah, I was hesitant. I mean really… of all the people on this site that I know that like Gaiman, couldn’t one of you have bothered to let me know? Huh? Fine. It’s done with.

Now, erasing that slight… really, I am… I will tell you that I totally gave Gaiman the brush off. I filed him under ‘what the he
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Erin (Paperback stash) *is juggle-reading*

“I mean, maybe I am crazy. I mean, maybe. But if this is all there is, then I don't want to be sane.”

Neverwhere – what genre to call it? Difficult to define – the popular shelf label is Urban Fantasy, but to me it’s not quite that since it takes place mainly in a fantasy setting. Horror is certainly present, especially from the diabolical hands of the twisted villains, complete with gory tidbits. Ultimately I’m settling on Dark Fantasy since it’s more of an adult fairytale with horror twists.

Th
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Jim
The story was unique, ingenious, & interesting. The magic is capricious, the characters memorable, & the plot had me biting my nails as it twisted about. The overall theme of the invisible people was haunting. There was a lot of understated British humor and it was very well read by its author.

I wanted to kick the main character pretty much all the way through the book, although the rest of the characters were great. I especially liked the pair of assassins. They were so perfectly evil y
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Gary
When I first started this book, I had to force myself to keep going. Having read American Gods by Gaiman, I was expecting a similar read. While similar, it did not grab my attention in the same way and I left this book only to come back to try again. I was glad I did.
In the beginning, it feels like Gaiman is trying too hard to establish himself as a writer of "weird" or mythological tales. Everything has a disjointed, hallucinogenic, surreal quality that was not pulling me into the storyline.
At
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Mario
God, I wanted this book to go on forever. Why did it have to stop? They literally are not words good enough to describe how amazing this book is.

And even though I have yet to read American Gods, I would say that this is best book of his, and definitely one of my favorite books, if not my favorite book yet read.
Kirstin
A steampunk version of The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Neverwhere is an absolute pleasure to read. An easy 5 stars and a new favourite.
Kristijan
NIKADOĐIJA, ili kako sam putovao u okviru tuđeg putovanja

Za početak pokušaću da se uzdržim od svih onih superlativa koje sam imao u ustima i na umu dok sam okretao poslednji list ove knjige... i pokušaću da napišem zašto ovu knjigu mora, naglašavam MORA da pročita svako ko voli dobru priču, dobru bajku ali i dobro putovanje.

Dakle, da počnemo...
Postoji ovaj jedan svet u kome živimo. Kažu da postoje i ona dva... Jedan gore i jedan dole i da ćemo jednoga dana svojim očima videti jedan od njih (p p
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Algernon

One of the things I like about Neil Gaiman books, besides the fact that they are usually standalones and relatively compact, is that I don't really know what to expect. American Gods was different from Stardust, which was different from Good Omens, and which is now different from Neverwhere. Yet all could be shelved as urban fantasy, or better yet modern fairytales, since urban fantasy has come to be associated with sparkly vampires and emo kids. While similarities in style can be detected, the
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Belarius
Jan 26, 2008 Belarius rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Gaiman Fans
Neil Gaiman's influential penchant for dark urban fantasy presents itself in its least complicated form in his first novel, Neverwhere. The book has the simplistic characters and perfectly-even pacing of television, which should come as no surprise as it is, in fact, an adaptation of a BBC miniseries. The book is pure entertainment, which is as much praise as it is condemnation.

Neil Gaiman is reputed to have a near-encyclopedia knowledge of matters both historical and fantastical, and this is wi
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Carol
This is my 5th Gaiman novel, and, although not my favorite, still very entertaining. The underground world of London below is full of bizarre creatures and gross-burger moments with rats as your friends and (view spoiler) your worst enemy. Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar pretty much take the cake, however, on the weirdness scale. A one-of-a-kind adventure!
Kelly
Well done again, Gaiman. Well done indeed. I very much enjoyed this novel. The same thing happened to me here as with American Gods. I was a little uncertain at first, a bit skeptical, and then slowly Gaiman won me over with his writing and sucked me into his world until I was engrossed and turned over 100 pages in a day without realizing it, even despite some distractions that should have made it impossible for me to concentrate. It is a very special breed of author who is capable of that.

Gaim
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Tie-in with Stardust? 3 70 Jul 05, 2015 11:57AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman 3 31 Jun 12, 2015 06:07AM  
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“You've a good heart. Sometimes that's enough to see you safe wherever you go. But mostly, it's not.” 942 likes
“He had noticed that events were cowards: they didn't occur singly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once.” 895 likes
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