the Little Red Reviewer

Neverwhere? Everywhere!

Posted on: May 2, 2012

Neil Gaiman, how do I love thee? let me count the ways.

My not nerdy friends have heard of you, so we can easily discuss your books without them thinking I’m too weird.

You allowed yourself to be Simpsonized!

You wrote one of my most favorite novels, American Gods. Also, I loved Coraline, Stardust and The Graveyard Book.

you refuse to be shoe horned into any specific genre. You write what you want, when you want it, and I can’t wait to read it.

you’re friends with Tori Amos and Terry Pratchett.

And my adoration for you started with a little book called Neverwhere. One of your earlier works, and certainly not your best, it was within it’s pages that I became first hooked on other worlds, on magical realism and urban fantasy, on the worlds that existed beyond the door, on a modern and more scary version of Narnia.   Poor Richard Mayhew, he never knew what hit him. She was young and in trouble, so he decided to help a young woman named Door.  What was Door running from, and how can bumbling Richard possibly help her? Her world is London Below, and his is the real world. Or is it? More exists in London than Richard could possibly imagine, and he’s about to meet it head on.

If you’ve read Neverwhere, you know of the magic that lives in these pages.

And if you haven’t?  get thee to a bookstore!  and then head over to Stainless Steel Droppings, where a read along of Neverwhere will be starting in a few weeks.

Are you ready for a spring of magical realism, urban fantasy, and London Below?

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32 Responses to "Neverwhere? Everywhere!"

He is truly a special author. I’m not sure any single author has made as big of an impression on me as Neil Gaiman. I’ve read and re-read his books many times over. I’ve listened to him read various stories on the audio versions and his voice is so familiar that I can summon it up in my head whenever I want to. I’ve stumbled across autographed copies of his books in new and used bookstores, I’ve had my copy of Neverwhere signed by him when a friend went to a Worldcon years ago, and I’ve seen him once in person myself, getting him to sign a handful of my books.

Through his book blurbs he has introduced me to some fabulous authors and artists who create works of art and wonderful stories that are among my favorites.

I am really looking forward to hosting the Neverwhere read along and I’m hoping that anyone who has been wondering just what this Gaiman fellow is all about will join us. And if they do, I hope they are bitten by the same magic bug that you and I have been bitten by.

Did you ever seen the original BBC miniseries? It’s interesting though at times you can almost hear them thinking, “Yes, budget limitations are holding us back, but wait until you read the book!”

I am very, very fond of the miniseries. One of my favorite shows when I was a kid was the Tom Baker version of Dr. Who, so I got used to poor production values coupled with entertaining storytelling and so the budget of Neverwhere didn’t bother me. I do think it suffers some in the story department simply because of the amount of episodes, so I am thrilled it inspired Neil to go ahead and make it into a novel so that we could get the full story.

Of course Carl is “very, very fond” of everything Gaiman. EVERYTHING. He is a guy that never met a Gaiman he didn’t like, as the saying goes. I’m not saying that’s not bad, for him…

There is where you are wrong, Richard. I did not like the Gaiman collaboration on the young adult novel Interworld at all. Thought it was very poorly done and just wasn’t an interesting story. Not sure how much Gaiman was involved in the collaboration, but I’m willing to lay blame equally since he agreed to put his name on it. I’m also not fond of Gaiman’s short stories that drift into the really dark, nasty and distasteful sex and violence. It sometimes disturbs me that a guy that writes stuff like Neverwhere and Stardust also seems at home writing stories that are just disgusting to read.

Still, I like about 85% of what he has done, and the good stuff is Great and helps me to ignore the bad.

haha, I remember when you read Interworld. To say you didn’t like it is an understatement according to my recollection. :)

I stand corrected. Thanks, Carl.

Anytime! :) I’m certainly a devoted fan, but not a blindly devoted one.

that is so true, about them being stuck within budget constraints. Like a lot of British tv i’ve seen, the acting and directing was spot on, but the limited special effects were, umm, well, very limited, especially near the end. I should really watch it again sometime!

I really love this book, and recently re-read it and posted a review on my blog. I admit it’s not his best book, but I love the characters, and the under-London world he created. Nice to read your post!!!

I feel the same exact way. He created a truly wonderful underworld, full of frightening beings that I wouldn’t want to run into in a well lit alley, let alone a dark one. I always forget how early in his career he wrote it.

I loved this book too and since it has been years since my last reading, I will be joining in the read along. Stainless Steel Droppings is awesome for hosting it!

Carl at Stainless Steel is the read along master.

Gaiman is everywhere, there is no escaping. I sometimes wonder how one author becomes this ubiquitous. I read the Sandman comics, that was more than enough for me.

You don’t know what you are missing out on! :)

Richard, it’s funny you should say that, I read a lot of his novels and YA stuff before I read Sandman. . and Sandman never did anything for me either. I’ve tried to read it like 3 times and I just can’t get into it. But give me Graveyard Book or Stardust or Neverwhere or American Gods anytime and I am in heaven!

Oh my gods, you gotta get into SANDMAN to really enjoy it, but once you do…it’s some of the BEST damned stuff he’s written. One of the stories in the Fables & Reflections-Arc-era called “THREE SEPTEMBERS & A JANUARY”…reduced me to a stunned mess of tears.

Sandman is a series that builds and builds and it isn’t until the very end that the genius of the story comes into focus. That said, that are some really great story arcs along the way.

Gaiman has ALWAYS been my fave author. He is a delight to listen to, and his books are all faves.

I simply can’t say enough good things about him.

As well, the way he conducts himself online ought to be a yardstick for all other authors. He is…for lack of a better word…amazing.

I agree. I think both Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi are really good examples of authors who use the internet in a constructive way, who treat their fans with dignity and respect but who aren’t afraid to take a hard line about something, and who genuinely like to embrace fandom at least to a reasonable degree.

And I have to echo your thoughts about Gaiman being a delight to listen to. That is a big part of his charm, he has a gift for actually “telling” a great story, not just putting words to paper but actually verbally telling the story.

He is one of those authors that makes it easy for one to be dedicated to. I’m admittedly not a fan of all the Amanda Palmer hoopla and generally stay away from all that, but everyone deserves to be happy. I just wish his writing output wouldn’t have tapered off so much over all these years. I suspect now he is working on more American Gods stuff and while I love Shadow, more AG is really not what I am wanting from Gaiman. Wish he had Brandon Sanderson’s drive! :)

I might do the read-along. My reading just plain sucks lately, so I am hesitant about everything. It would be a reread for me. I did like it, but I am just leery of things at the moment, I guess.

it’s a low-pressure read along. :D

Every time I hear more about Neil Gaiman, the more awesome he seems. For instance–apparently he lives in a haunted house. Just heard that one recently.

Also just read Neverwhere fairly recently, so I won’t be rereading just now, but I look forward to following everyone else’s trip through London Below!

Gaiman living in a haunted house? wouldn’t surprise me one bit!

It’s slightly embarrassing that my brother, who reads very little, has read this book while I haven’t. And it was me who got it for him.
Should probably consider adding this to summer reading list. ^^;

you should totally swipe the book from him!

Seconded! All of it. I love NEVERWHERE, and I’m horribly remiss in having not seen the TV version, still. I haven’t even attempted the dive into the Sandman series yet, but that’s on the list as well.

I think it’s on Netflix, I’m pretty sure that’s how I got to see it a few years ago.

I’ve heard that… never had Netflix, though. Sounds like this will be a good challenge for my Internet mojo.

Check out his “The Sandman” series and I’m telling you, you’ll fall in love with him (as if you still aren’t! lol).

This post inspired one of my own – I plan to do a series of my favourite authors – but it’s now surprisingly difficult to write one on Neil Gaiman because, basically, I could copy-paste your post and add a gigantic ‘YES’ to the end. :D Neverwhere is where I started, too, and American Gods is one of the biggest influences in my life.

The Simpsons episode I’ve yet to see, though.

you should absolutely do a series of posts on your favorite authors! for some more inspiration, check out Drying Ink’s series of “why you should read” posts, here’s one:
http://drying-ink.blogspot.com/2012/04/why-you-should-read-lois-mcmaster.html

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About this redhead, etc.

Redhead is a snarky, non-politically correct 30-something who reviews mostly science fiction and fantasy and talks about all sorts of other fun scifi and fantasy geekery. She once wrote a haiku that included the word triskaidekaphobia.

This blog contains adult language and strong opinions. The best way to contact her outside of this blog is twitter, where she is @redhead5318 .

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