Ok, so first thing is, this isn’t an Indie book. Haha, no shit, Sherlock! In preparation for my forthcoming London Town project, I have been trying to find other novels that fit, or nearly fit, into a similar genre. Having seen both Stardust and Coraline, and seen a few YouTube interviews with Neil Gaiman, I thought I would try this one. It was actually recommended to me by a colleague at work (think Victor Meldrew in both appearance and demeanour and you’ll be quite close).
Neverwhere was originally created as a BBC television series and then rewritten into a novel. It tells the story of Richard Mayhew, a man with a not-very-likeable fiancée, but otherwise living a very normal life until one night, he comes to the rescue of a young girl named Door. That fateful intervention leads him to London Below – a world of lost souls who have fallen through the cracks of city life. There are rats and rat-speakers, an angel called Islington, and a wonderful pair of villains called Croup and Vandemar.
You are drawn into this underworld along with Richard without even realising it. The story is expertly told and the characters are so real they will stay with you long after you finish reading. Make a visit to the real Earl’s Court, talk about birds with Old Bailey, a man who prefers life on a roof than living in the sewers of London. Oh, and if you happen to meet the Marquis de Carabas, make sure he owes you a favour and not the other way round.
Seriously, I can’t praise this book enough. It is brilliant in every single way, and since finishing it, I can’t help but think back over their story and hope that one day I will meet them again.