Elizabeth's Reviews > Neverwhere

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Dec 02, 08

bookshelves: fiction
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Otis Chandler
Recommended for: People who like fantasy
Read in December, 2008, read count: 1

I finally finished it. And with all due respect to fantasy and sci-fi writers and readers, the verdict is in. I do not like this genre. Never. I've tried and tried: Dune, Lord of the Rings, Neverwhere...whatever.

I just don't care. I read about characters and I don't care if they find a ring or a magical door or some sand that supposed to be oil. No thank you. For the next employee book club choice...if we choose anything in those two genres...I'm going to have to abdicate. There are just so many great books out there that I actually want to read!
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Reading Progress

11/04/2008 page 23
11/26/2008 page 100
27.03% "inching along...guys the next book can't be fantasy...please." 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by rivka (new)

rivka None of the books you mentioned are what I would call character-driven. If you're willing to give SF one more try, might I recommend an SF book that is? Try Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead.

Elizabeth Hi Rivka,
I did read Ender's game when I was a kid. I thought it was okay...

message 3: by rivka (new)

rivka I specifically didn't suggest Ender's Game, which is also great, but very very different than its sequel. Speaker is far more character-driven than EG is.

message 4: by Rolls (new)

Rolls Bravo Elizabeth! I have to agree with you 100%. I have never found that genre interesting either - not even in the geekiest stages of my dateless youth. Vonnegut is okay. I like some of George Saunders' dystopic peeks at the future. I can even stomach magic realism from time to time - but goblins, trolls and elves be damned!

message 5: by rivka (new)

rivka I certainly understand someone liking or disliking specific genres. Everyone has different preferences, and that's part of what makes GR -- and life! -- interesting. But I don't understand congratulating someone for having specific tastes.

Also, smile when you say "geekiest". Geeks rule the earth. ;D

message 6: by Rolls (new)

Rolls I'm sorry Rivka,
I've had so many people look at me like I'm dead inside for not liking the fantasy genre. I think everyone should be allowed to like what they like but you should also be allowed to dislike certain things too right? I was just patting her on the back for being a fellow traveller. I meant no harm.

message 7: by rivka (new)

rivka Fair enough. :)

(Of course, not liking fantasy does indeed mean that you are dead inside. Infusions of willow bark tea, made from willow wands peeled under the light of a full moon, can be efficacious.)

message 8: by Rolls (new)

Rolls Hope to engage in more lively chat with you in the future ;)

Jessica Donaghy I hear you, Elizabeth. For me, Neverwhere, was a fun story, but it didn't resonate on any other level (I'll write a review soon). But I do agree with Rivka that it is possible to find character-driven fantasy and sci-fi.

message 10: by Robert (new)

"The Darkness that Comes Before" by R. Scott Bakker is excellent character-driven fantasy, though it's a little too dark and heady for some. If you want quality fantasy and aren't afraid to tackle riveting, philosophical issues, then its must-read.

I love Niel Gaiman, but Neverwhere is a dry, dry novel IMO. Its not a good representation of the author, much less the genre.

Also, I notice you don't mention Harry Potter in your comment -- but you're clearly quite fond of those fantasy books. And what is "Frankenstein" if its not excellent science fiction and horror? You gave this book high marks as well.

Ken-ichi Elizabeth, have you tried LeGuin, Samuel Delany, Sandman, or Cloud Atlas? I'd guess that what you find objectionable are the focus on world-building (elves, trolls, rules) and trappings of all adventure stories (find power source X, return and save the village... remember Campbell?), but there are lots of books with one or both feet in the SF/fantasy camp that aren't so much about worlds and adventure. Speaker for the Dead is wonderful for embracing all these things, and is definitely worth checking out.

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