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Neverwhere (London Below, The World of Neverwhere)

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4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  271,836 Ratings  ·  14,061 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, 372 pages
Published September 19th 2005 by Headline Review (first published September 16th 1996)
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Vanessa Loften Not as yet, although it has been hinted that there will be. In the authors preferred text, at the very back is a short story of how the Marquis got…moreNot as yet, although it has been hinted that there will be. In the authors preferred text, at the very back is a short story of how the Marquis got his coat back, though.(less)
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)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Steve
Jan 12, 2014 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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Rick Riordan
Jan 13, 2014 Rick Riordan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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James
Oct 23, 2007 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...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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Carmen
Mar 28, 2016 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Richard 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.

This is a very well-written and predictable book by Neil Gaiman.

Richard is an office drone.

Of course he is.

And he's dating a go-getting, beautiful woman who doesn't love him for what he is, but sees "potential" and dreams about the man she can turn him into. You know the type. Scarlett Johansson from DON JON.

And he's miserable, but pretends he's happy becaus
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Madeline
Jan 11, 2014 Madeline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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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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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Markus
”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.”

What if there is a secret underworld hidden in the dark below the busy, noisy streets of London? What if Earl’s Court is truly the court of an earl and the name of Angel station derives from a real angel? On a fortuitous night Richard Mayhew finds a mysterious young girl wounded in an alley, and i
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Lyn
Mar 27, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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 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
Dec 31, 2013 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Char
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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Kristijan
Jul 23, 2014 Kristijan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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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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Paul Nelson
"Things to do. People to damage"

The audio of Neverwhere narrated by Neil himself was one of my last books of the year but definitely ranks up there as one of my favourites of the year if not all-time.

As a narrator Neil Gaiman is something quite special, the different characters are easily distinguishable and I was left hanging on every word by a truly accomplished story-teller and perfect teller of stories.

I won't go into the plot detail, the books nearly 20 years old and its all been done a m
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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
Aug 02, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Vladimir
Oct 10, 2015 Vladimir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-read, 2015
1. Danas je padala kiša... jedno deset minuta sam gledao kako voda odlazi pod zemlju razmišljajući na šta sve (koga) nailazi tamo dole...

2. Voleo bih da znam, šta Nil Gejmen sanja...

Samo toliko....
Crystal Craig

Recommended Reading

"Dear Diary, he began. On Friday, I had a job, a fiancée, a home, and a life that made sense. (Well, as much as any life makes sense). Then I found an injured girl bleeding on the pavement, and I tried to be a Good Samaritan. Now I've got no fiancée, no home, no job, and I'm walking around a couple of hundred feet under the streets of London with the projected life expectancy of a suicidal fruitfly."

Neil Gaiman read the audio version of his novel, Neverwhere. He did an exc
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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

“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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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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Melanie
Apr 23, 2016 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, thank you Larry for recommending this book to me. I never would have known about or read this wonderful story if not for you. I loved it :-)). It's great to read books I would normally not choose and end up loving them.

Here's a few words that I think describe Neverwhere: Magical, suspenseful, creepy, gross, witty, funny, and sad. I read that the author doesn't write sequels but I would love to revisit London Below someday.

Highly recommended (even if it's not something you would norm
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Paul
It starts as a normal day, Richard Mayhew has been at the office and is now attending a dinner with his demanding fiancée, Jessica, as well as her boss. On the way there they see a girl collapsed on the street, who is losing blood. He stops to help, and Jessica storms off. He takes her home, and cleans her up. Soon after there is a knock at the door, and two sinister men, Croup and Vandemar, are asking after her. She has vanished, and they leave unconvinced of his story that he has never seen ...more
Apatt
Nov 20, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
“There are four simple ways for the observant to tell Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar apart: first, Mr. Vandemar is two and a half heads taller than Mr. Croup; second, Mr. Croup has eyes of a faded china blue, while Mr. Vandemar’s eyes are brown; third, while Mr. Vandemar fashioned the rings he wears on his right hand out of the skulls of four ravens, Mr. Croup has no obvious jewelery; fourth, Mr. Croup likes words, while Mr. Vandemar is always hungry. Also, they look nothing at all alike.”



Mr. Croup
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colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
Sep 07, 2011 colleen the fabulous fabulaphile rated it it was amazing  ·  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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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 characters, suffer with them all the way, and mourn for them if something happens. It just didn't happen with me with this book.
Mangrii
Jun 06, 2016 Mangrii rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritos, tbr-2016
La novela cuenta la historia de cómo la vida de Richard Mayhew, un escocés que vive actualmente en Londres atrapado en una rutinaria existencia, da un vuelco de 180 grados cuando una niña herida aparece misteriosamente en el medio de un callejón mientras huye de dos matones que quieren asesinarla. Ambos se embarcarán en una asombrosa y misteriosa aventura por el Londres de Abajo, un submundo habitado por personas realmente peculiares e inimaginables. Neverwhere se trata del segundo trabajo en ...more
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.
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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.” 1102 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.” 1013 likes
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