Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
I have come to the conclusion that Neil Gaiman just may be my Go-To Man when I’m in the mood for Major Creepiness. Capital M. Capital C. Really! I’ve read books that were scarier, books that were funnier, and books that were more convoluted or complex, but I don’t think I’ve ever read anything creepier than Neverwhere in my life. And I mean that in a GOOD way, of course.
The story of a secret world beneath London, filled with all sorts of interesting or evil characters (sometimes both at once) isn’t new, but for me, this was so off-the-wall weird as to pull me in completely. For instance, I don’t know where you’d find creepier villains than the team of assassins that is Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar. One is clever in an annoyingly condescending and evil way, and the other is…well…not. Clever, that is. He’s evil through and through, and weird beyond measure, as well. I mean, how many times have you run across dastardly and villainous murderers who can amuse themselves by seeing how many tiny frogs they can stuff into their mouth before swallowing them? EEEK.
Our unwilling hero, Richard Mayhew, was likable enough to make me root for him throughout, and the people (and I use the term loosely) he meets upon his journey are among the most…peculiar…I’ve ever encountered. I am once more astonished that it has taken me so long to find Gaiman’s books. The same is true of Terry Pratchett’s work. I’m in the process of correcting both of these oversights, believe me, and my next review will be of the third Tiffany Aching book in Pratchett’s Discworld series. They are such delightful authors, in totally different ways. Yeah, I know some people don’t care for them. Some people actually don’t like Neverwhere at all. I’m not “some people,” for which I’m eternally grateful. I found magic and entertainment galore in Neverwhere, and that’s often all I ask for. If you like the unusual, and love the weird, and crave some Major Creepiness now and then, I highly recommend Neverwhere.
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