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Neverwhere (London Below, #1)
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Group Read Archive > Group Fiction Read - September 2015 - Neverwhere - SPOILERS ALLOWED

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Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
Spoilers are allowed in this thread. Please unselect 'Add to my update feed' so other don't see your comments.
Things to consider:
1. Did you like the book?
2. Did you like or dislike the main characters?
3. Do the characters develop?
4. What did you think of the plot and the ending of the story?
5. Do you have any particular favourite quotes or scenes?
6. Would you read anything else by this author?


Sha'ron (sharon57) | 9 comments It was hard for me to 'get into' the book at first, but once I did it moved along. I think what made it difficult for me was the main character and Door. But once Richard decided to follow Door, Hunter and Marquis it picked up for me plot wise. This was my first Neil Gaimen's novel, I have been recommended his books for a long time now. I think I will try another one of his novels or short stories before I make an opinion about whether I like the author.


message 3: by Paul (last edited Sep 05, 2015 12:38PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
The Ocean at the End of the Lane or Stardust are good places to start Sha'ron


Sha'ron (sharon57) | 9 comments Paul wrote: "The Ocean at the End of the Lane or Stardust are good places to start Sha'ron"
Thanks I will definitely start there!


message 5: by Joy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joy Stephenson (joyfrankie) | 463 comments I first read this book about 2 years ago and remembered liking it very much (though I don't seem to have rated or reviewed it) so I thought I'd read it again to join in with the group read. I did still like it on a second reading, but wasn't overwhelmed by it - there wasn't really anything extra to gain from a second reading as there is from some books.
I thought it was imaginative / creative and the plot was well-paced; I was never bored. One thing I did get from a second reading was that I looked up the reference to 'fire and fleet and candle light' , which comes from 'The Lyke Wake Dirge', the verses of which carry the message that if you care for other people (giving those in need shelter and food) then you will be blessed, whereas if you ignore others' needs you will come to a sticky end. This links of course with Richard's character - he helps not just Door when she is in need in London Above but also gives money to another character at the beginning of the story (Old Bailey?) - and so it not just his bravery but his generosity of spirit which is rewarded. In some ways the story strikes me as a fairy tale for adults in this respect.
On the other hand I did feel the story needed another layer; it was a bit one-dimensional. I don't know if any of you have read Diana Wynne Jones, the children's author, but she was expert in creating really complex and multi-layered plots involving other worlds / alternate realities. If you haven't, have a look at Eight Days of Luke or Archer's Goon. Of course these are children's books, so on one level simpler, but in my opinion also with more depth.


message 6: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo Weston (joster) | 1697 comments Mod
This was my introduction to Neil Gaiman and quite simply, I thought it was incredible. My favourite of his to date and I can still remember the pace, the energy and excitement it generated.

Here is my review from Dec 2013:

Absolutely loved it! Original, clever, absorbing story and wonderful characters.

Gaiman creates a "real" alternative London Below, which comes alive through his words, and gives us our rich cast of characters - Richard, Door, Carabas, Hunter and the villains too - and then simply tells us an extraordinary and exciting story in the best sense of the word.

Ending 2013 on a high. Unquestionably 5 stars.


Saffron (celeste1973) | 136 comments 1. Did you like the book?

Not as much as the other of his books I have read, even though it is still a highly entertaining and imaginative story.

2. Did you like or dislike the main characters?

This was the issue for me, I didn't connect to Richard or Door, they were quite one dimensional for me and didn't really grow, even after the 'ordeal'.

3. Do the characters develop?

The Marquis and Hunter did, I would like to read more about them. There are no end of other stories that could have been written about many of the supporting cast, I am surprised he hasn't utilised this for a number of spin offs.

4. What did you think of the plot and the ending of the story?

The Angel being the main bad guy was predictable for me, and Mr Croup and Mr Vandemar really began to irritate with their banter.

Hunters betrayal was more of a surprise but her reasons for doing so were clear. Why did she not want to go up to London Above? Was that explained?

5. Do you have any particular favourite quotes or scenes?

When Old Bailey goes back to the second market and buys back the Marquis body from the sewer people, I was actually feeling rather ill imagining the smell. I liked that the Marquis was indebted to him too, very begrudgingly.

6. Would you read anything else by this author?

Definitely.


Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I am a Neil Gaiman fan anyway, but that was brilliant. There were some faults with the book, primarily that apart from Richard, the characters didn't develop, but I would say that the City was as much of a character as the other people.

The plot had plenty of drama and twists and turns, and the ending was really good. I like the way he took familiar places and turned them into people. I am slowly reading my way through all of his books. My review is here


Katie/Doing Dewey | 6 comments I really liked this book, but I didn't love it. Given the number of people I know who rave about Neil Gaiman, I always expect to love his books. However, I've read this, The Graveyard Book, and American Gods and none of them have quite lived up to my expectations. I did love the creativity of the world in this story, but lately I've been looking for more of an emotional connection from my fiction and that just wasn't there for me. I might be willing to read more by Neil Gaiman anyway though. I loved the movie Stardust, so that's one I'd like to try.


message 10: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
Stardust is good too. I thought that this was much better than American Gods partly as knowing London helped.

The Sandman graphic novels are great too.


message 11: by Joy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joy Stephenson (joyfrankie) | 463 comments I think his best novel is the one written jointly with Terry Pratchett - Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch


Katie/Doing Dewey | 6 comments Thanks for the recommendations, Paul and Joy! Next time I want to give Neil Gaiman a chance, I'll keep them in mind :)


message 13: by Debbie (new) - added it

Debbie | 585 comments I really enjoyed this and think it may be a new favourite, surpassing Anansi Boys and American Gods.
The London below was an incredible world, loved the floating market, especially when held in Harrods ..lol! The characters were fabulous, loved Hunter and the Marquis de Carabas.


Cindy (cvanells) | 30 comments This is the first book by Neil Gaiman that I've read, and I enjoyed it. It was a very imaginative story. I'm glad this was a book selection because I probably wouldn't have read it otherwise, but I always enjoy sampling authors new to me.

I was surprised to find out the villain was Islington. I think the fact that he was an angel made him more sinister than if it had been someone else. His henchman were truly heinous!

I liked how Gaiman resolved the entrapment of Door, the Marquis, and Richard, and how the story ended. Although I didn't initially intend to read this, I'm glad I did.


Patricia | 199 comments I had forgotten how much I like a good fantasy novel. Really enjoyed this and plan to read more by Gaiman. I did have a hard time getting to sleep a couple of nights when I ended my reading with Croup and Vandemar.


message 16: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
Glad you enjoyed it Patricia. Some fantasy can be so Meh at times. Have you read Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch? It is an urban fantasy, but not as sinister as Neverwhere.

I must say that I thought that Croup and Vandemar were a nasty version of Hale and Pace!


message 17: by Noam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Noam I loved this book. I've always like the idea of "invisible" worlds among worlds. I was initially fascinated with Doors character but then felt she lost depth as the book continued. I would like to hear more about the Marquis, Hunter, Croup, Vandemar, and even the fall of the angel Islington. That would make a great book. "The Fall of the Angel Ilsington. I can see much of Richards character in average people I've encountered in life. I definitely knew he was going to decide to live in London Below.


message 18: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
Have you read any of his other books Noam?


message 19: by Noam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Noam Paul wrote: "Have you read any of his other books Noam?"

Yup. Stardust, American Gods, Angels and Visitations, Fragile Things and The Graveyard Book. He's one of my faves.


message 20: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
Now one of mine


Jason (jasondenness) | 1875 comments I'm way behind you guys as I've only just gotten around to reading this, blown away by how good it was. Loved how Neil plays with the names of places on the London Underground.

I now demand a spin off book about Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar. Those guys were freaking awesome.

Looks like he is doing a sequel on the Seven Sisters, might be interesting, surprised they are the ones to get a book.


message 22: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
It is so unbelievably good J. How the Marquis Got His Coat Back is the tiny sliver of a book that goes with this. I cannot wait for The Seven Sisters


Jason (jasondenness) | 1875 comments I saw the Marquis had a book but alas my library doesn't have it, was going to get it out the same time as neverwhere.


message 24: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
I think I paid about £3 in Waterstones.


Jason (jasondenness) | 1875 comments Might have to go in then, pretty dangerous though. :-)


message 26: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
You'll never see London in the same light again


Jason (jasondenness) | 1875 comments I was thinking that, each one of these places I pass through I'll be smirking....still....can't wait to get into the London sewers and look for the floating market.


message 28: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
Take a peg...


Jason (jasondenness) | 1875 comments haha


message 30: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo Weston (joster) | 1697 comments Mod
Jason - so glad you caught up. It's fab-u-lous. As CRH would say. A whirlwind of craziness. By far my favourite Gaiman.


message 31: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
Jo wrote: "Jason - so glad you caught up. It's fab-u-lous. As CRH would say. A whirlwind of craziness. By far my favourite Gaiman."

And there will be a sequel Jo!! :-) :-)


Saffron (celeste1973) | 136 comments This is one of his best. As with a lot of his stories, the characters are so full and interesting, nearly all of them could have a whole novel to themselves.


message 33: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa (mrswhams) | 730 comments Mod
Jason, PM me your address and I will post you Marquis!


Jason (jasondenness) | 1875 comments Thanks for the offer Lisa, I purchased the kindle version earlier today as it was only 99p.

thanks again, very kind of you.....now if you have an advanced copy of seven sisters :-)


message 35: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 5459 comments Mod
The generosity of BV members knows no bounds. Have you read it yet Jason?


Jason (jasondenness) | 1875 comments not yet, got a few to finish first but once the decks are cleared it will be next.

and yes BV is awesome.


message 37: by Lisa (last edited Feb 21, 2017 07:18AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa (mrswhams) | 730 comments Mod
Jason wrote: "Thanks for the offer Lisa, I purchased the kindle version earlier today as it was only 99p.

thanks again, very kind of you.....now if you have an advanced copy of seven sisters :-)"


Haha! I'm not sure even Neil has an advance copy yet :)


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