Saturday, February 9, 2013

Neither Above; Neither Below. You're Neverwhere.

Hello everyone! I think I am beginning to think that February is a wonderful time of the year, one that's full of surprises! In fact, just the other week I managed to finish a book that's on my list of books under my Ad Perficiendum file (which, in Latin, means To Complete. I needed that in Latin to scare me. I need to get serious in reading more books this year.)

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is a strong contender in the category of utterly engrossing fantasy; and is one of the few books that I got so lost and absorbed in that finishing several chapter feels like I've scoured a few miles of a dark, dank tunnel. It's urban fantasy at its height of warped cleverness.

The Story: 

Neverwhere is a story of the Worlds of 'London Above' and 'London Below', of normal people living regular lives paralleled by a story of people who have 'fallen through the cracks'. It is a story of the adventure of a certain Richard Mayhew, a regular non-descript working man in London with a lovely fiancee that he could not always please, but is beautiful nonetheless; his unimaginative ways in trying to fit in the flow of life as as averagely as one can. But his world is turned upside down when he met a peculiar-eyed girl with iridescent hair, bloodied on the street.

And so, with that chance meeting, he unwittingly left London Above. Richard Mayhew's life slipped through the cracks, pummeled into the unseen, to the rat-speakers, to an angel, to monsters and Beasts, to the sewer people, to the All The Good and Bad inhabitants that scurries about in the world of London Below.

My Impressions:

I've always, always been a fan of Neil Gaiman. And this one is at par with one of my favorite novels, American Gods. What makes Neverwhere amazing for me is that twinge of possibility that a London Below could exist.

What I know of London is that it is a brilliant place filled with historical places and wonderful, progressive people, but with this book there is such a thrill in being let in on a secret that there is also an underground world made up of fantastic royal families whose abilities can open even the most ancients of doors and locks, obsidian gems that can lead you through a maze, assassins that are so gruesome in their expertise of torture and death, plagued fields of marshes, being beaten bloody, and all the characters that I met and places I've been through the journey, each one more peculiar than the last.

If you want a slice of adventure in your life, this is a book you should be reading. The writing style is very Gaiman, with dashes of the driest humor in the dialogue, which I have always loved. There is very little lul period, where it gets boring or what. There is also a tinge of hopelessness, homesickness and that vile taste of being betrayed that will keep you wishing that at the end where you can see that opening hole in a wall, that one last turn takes you home to the place where you finally belong.

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