EVERYONE Has Read This but Me - The Catch-Up Book Club discussion

Neverwhere (London Below, #1)
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Kaseadillla | 1437 comments Mod
Hello all - starting up discussions for the February 2017 BOTMs. This discussion is for the group's poll selection for the MODERN CLASSIC/POPULAR reads category: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

This discussion will be full of spoilers. If you have not read the book and don't want to ruin the ending, hop on over to the spoiler-free discussion HERE .

Happy reading!

Tori | 729 comments Mod
I was so excited when I saw Neverwhere was this month's book! It has been on my list of books to read for years and has been recommended to me by so many different people. I started listening to the audiobook today, and quickly realized I had already read this book before! I've had memories of reading about floating markets and rat speakers but I could never remember what book it was from. Actually, looking back now I'm almost certain this was the first Neil Gaiman book I read. Anyway, I'm already half way through it and I have loved rereading it!

Emma | 8 comments Just finished the book and I know I'll probably be in the minority by saying this, but I did not like this book at all. I thought that all of the characters were quite frankly boring, aside from Door, and the plot line was kind of all over the place for me. To be fair, I typically don't know fantasy books like this, and reading this book just confirmed this for me. However, I really did like the author's writing, so I am definitely thinking about reading another Gaiman novel to see if I like it better.

Abby Same, Emma. Just didn't care for it. And there are some Gaiman books I love, so give them a shot! I recommend The Graveyard Book.

message 5: by Marcos (new)

Marcos Kopschitz | 1862 comments Mod
I didn't feel attracted to this book, so I decided not to read it. I also may be in a minority that is not all that enthusiastic about Gaiman. :-) But I liked other of his books and graphic novels that I've read. I really did like "The Ocean at the End of the Lane".

Cindy | 4 comments Loved the writing, so-so on the story. I wish there was more character development - other than Richard everyone was just a stereotype. Felt the same way about Ocean at the end of the Lane. I guess I'm not big on fantasy/magic.

Would consider reading another for the writing. Are any of his books realistic fiction?

Melanie Not so much...he is primarily a fantasy writer. The Ocean at the End of this Lane is about 1/2 realistic.

Kaseadillla | 1437 comments Mod
I read this a few years ago and remember really enjoying it. I found it clever and whimsical. I wish I had known the layout of London, or just London in general, better before reading it as I feel I would have gotten even more out of the story.

I loved the magic and Door's character. I thought it was perfectly equal parts humorous and fanciful magic (ex. the King's Court) with horror and intensity (ex. the bridge that people disappear on).

Wasn't life changing, but felt smart and believable. Better than Stardust, the only other book by Gaiman I've read so far (seriously behind in reading the other group books), but that's probably b/c I saw the movie first and was expecting way more out of the book.

Sarah | 799 comments You can't beat his book Coraline! I know it's for children, but I just love it!! The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The Graveyard Book, and Good Omens are delightful as well. I love his creativity. There's also a printed version of a speech he gave called Make Good Art that I love a lot.

Leesa Just finished- I blasted through it now I'm feeling a little better. I put this book down a lot and didn't want to pick it up half as much.
The same as Alice, I felt had I read this as a teenager my rating would be different for the book rather than what it is now.
I felt it was simply written, the plot line obvious and the characters were not intricate enough to hold my attention.
Some of the ideas I liked, but I was annoyed that they weren't explored further- the other doors to faraway places being one. I liked the literal take of stations names too, that was clever.
The rest I could leave, not my favourite, I'm afraid.

Sarah | 799 comments I am so surprised to read about how many people did not care for this book or thought it was boring!

Just finished it for the 2nd time in my life, and I loved it more than I remember loving it as a teenager! I thoroughly enjoy getting lost in a great fantasy though.

I love the characters (velvets sucking life out of people, the marquis creating his own important image, the sewer people fishing for goods to sell at the market, the seemingly incredibly intelligent thugs, etc.), I love the unique setting that resembles a parallel universe (which the idea of has always fascinated me), and I love that the end reminds you not to settle for the mundane, to live life to the fullest and seek adventure!

My personal favorite snippets:

"So the day became one of waiting, which was, he knew, a sin: moments were to be experienced; waiting was a sin against both the time that was still to come and he moments one was currently disregarding."

"For a moment, upon waking, he had no idea at all who he was. It was a tremendously liberating feeling, as if he were free to be whatever he wanted to be: he could be anyone at all- able to try on any identity; he could be a man or a woman, a rat or a bird, a monster or a God."

Neil is by far my favorite author and the only author I own numerous books written by. ❤️

Leesa I enjoyed aspects like fishing in the sewer for market goods too Sarah. The bits in between just didn't hold my attention though. I would love to read more if his work and hopefully the graveyard book gets picked for October!

Sarah | 799 comments The art in the Graveyard Book is amazing paired with the words. You really get connected to the main character as well. Maybe I'll vote for it even though I own and have read it, just so that others can enjoy more Neil!

Christine (clarkepopunta) | 122 comments I'm surprised but ...maybe not...that people have given a lukewarm reception of this book.

I have to disagree entirely about the characters. Richard was just bumbling enough with the wide eyes of a child. Islington was grandiose and shadowy. Messrs Croup and Vandemar maintained wonderful dialogue together...it felt like a dark and greasy dinner party every time I read one of their scenes. Lamia was sexily malicious.

Here's my point, I guess: I don't remember the story hardly at all (which is not atypical for me) but I remember all the above characters without even pulling my copy out.

My second comment is that, if you are not a fan of fantasy, you're gonna have a hard time with Neil Gaiman. I've only read four books by him plus a collection of stories, but I think he has a compulsion to make at least some element of his story fantastical. (Which I love).

And then there's his style. Neverwhere is the best showcase of Neil Gaiman's style that I've seen so far. Animating inanimate objects or feelings with perfectly crunchy texture - I dig it man. If you like spare writing, you will probably not enjoy his long sentences.

Or my rambly posts probably ;)

Christine (clarkepopunta) | 122 comments P.S. the group Nothing But Reading Challenges has a group read starting August 12 of Gaiman's Anansi Boys.

Kandice I love all things Gaiman, but admit to only giving this book three stars the first time I read it. I went back and reread and fell in love. His style is so niche-y that you either love or hate him, and as Christine said, he is never spare. I love long-winded writers!

Sarah | 799 comments I particularly love his ability to take every day passing thoughts people have and expand upon them. Or moments we would fail to pay any thought to, he has a beautiful way of bringing them to light. Hence the specific snippets I posted as my favorites.

Sarah | 799 comments I would love to get a free trip into his mind for 30 minutes, just to see how he perceives every day moments!

message 19: by Vir (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vir I read this book years ago! The only thing i remember is how i couldn't put it down. I was completely sucked into this crazy world. 😀. I think it's time for a re-read!

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EVERYONE Has Read This but Me - The Catch-Up...

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Anansi Boys (other topics)
Neverwhere (other topics)
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Neil Gaiman (other topics)