Have you ever fallen in love with a book? When you start reading it, and all of a sudden, it’s the only thing you can think of. You want to spend every free minute with the book and when you’re forced to put it down for pesky things like work or sleep, you anxiously wait until the next time you can pick it back up.
That happened to me last week when I finally read Neverwhere.
“Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.”
I’ve wanted to read Neverwhere for some time. Actually, I’ve wanted to read most of Gaiman’s stuff for a while – apart from Coraline when I was younger and Stardust a couple of years ago, the only other thing I’ve read was his latest novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I think that Neil Gaiman is the author I’ve been waiting to discover my whole life. He has such an incredible writing style – I get lost in his words and it’s a bit of a rude awakening when I remember that I have other things to do. I started reading Neverwhere before work on Monday and had to force myself to put it away because I couldn’t be late for my first day of my new internship. And I even when to sleep “late” (i.e. 11:30pm!) on Tuesday night because I couldn’t bear the thought of waiting until the morning to find out how it ended – even though I knew I would be tired the next day.
I loved the characters: Richard was delightful and Door was spunky and I wished they spent more time with the Earl because he was hilarious. Even the villains were written in such a way that I almost looked forward to their reappearances because I knew I was in for an excellent confrontation. AND THOSE BETRAYALS AT THE END (no spoilers)! I WAS SHOCKED. I did not see that ending coming and it was extremely well-done.
There was also that self-satisfied feeling because I’ve been to London and I’ve used the Underground so I was familiar with – if not the stations themselves – the way the Tube operates and I was able to visualize it. I know that the next time I go to London, I’ll be thinking of this book.
I can barely write a review because I’m now completely obsessed with it (and with Neil Gaiman, a little bit). It’s just fantastic. I realize it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and some people might not like it, but I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t like it. I recently bought four of Gaiman’s novels (American Gods, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, and, of course, Neverwhere) and I can’t wait to read them.