By Neil Gaiman
There are some authors you know will always cheer you up especially when you’ve had a rough day. Neil Gaiman is one of those authors. When I’ve had a day I want to forget, I know I can count on him to take me somewhere else with his words.
Neverwhere, sadly, has languished on my list for a long time, and at one point, I thought I might have read it. I was indeed wrong about that. While in my favorite bookstore one night, I gave in and bought it. I was so glad I did too.
Richard Mayhew leads a normal, rather boring life. He works in an ordinary corporate job filing reports and is engaged to a beautiful woman who slightly intimidates him. But he’s sure it’s the life he wants. It’s ordinary and normal; what everyone wants. On his way to dinner with his fiancée, he stops to aid a girl bleeding on the street. Knowing he can’t leave the girl hemorrhaging on a London sidewalk, he decides to help her and walks away from his ordinary and normal life. He finds out the London he’s been living in has a whole other side, one that feeds off of the unbelievable and a world he can’t quite understand. It’s where Richard finds himself and he’s able to let go of everything he thought he wanted and embrace a new life.
Oh, where to begin. The idea of a London underground is fascinating and Gaiman does a fantastic job making it real. The subway stops, the markets, and even the creatures. There’s something amazing about being able to slip into this world, much like good ol’ reliable Richard Mayhew, and through him be amazed. My favorite part is when he’s no longer stunned by everything and even starts to see connections and rationalizations for how things work. It changes him and for the better I thought. The new Richard wasn’t so invisible anymore. He was, well, whole — something he wasn’t before.
When I picked this book up I was in a slight reading lull. Nothing good, nothing bad; just sort of meh about the books I was reading. I wanted new, exciting and I’m sorry I didn’t look to my old favorites quicker. When I spied this on the shelf I knew it would be perfect. American Gods will soon be purchased for my reading enjoyment and probably a few more in the Sandman series. Oh, holidays, I can’t wait for you this year.