Author's Preferred Text

Paperback - 2016
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National Bestseller

Selected as one of NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of All Time

The #1 New York Times bestselling author's ultimate edition of his wildly successful first novel featuring his "preferred text"--and including his new Neverwhere tale, "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back."

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.

"A fantastic story that is both the stuff of dreams and nightmares" (San Diego Union-Tribune), Neil Gaiman's first solo novel has become a touchstone of urban fantasy, and a perennial favorite of readers everywhere.

"Delightful ... inventively horrific."

--USA Today

Publisher: New York : William Morrow & Co., 2016
ISBN: 9780062476371


From Library Staff

Londoner Richard Mayhew stops to help a young woman who lies beaten in the street and is thrust into an adventure that takes him into a new world: London Below.

When Londoner Richard Mayhew stops to help a young woman who lies beaten in the street, he gets thrust into an adventure that takes him into a new world: London Below.

A man goes to the aid of woman pursued by assassins and discovers an alternative City of London, a subterranean, medieval world populated by "people who fell through the cracks" from the real city above. A fantasy tale, replete with demons and wizards. (catalog description)

From the critics

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May 21, 2017

Very clever! Story kept me engaged through the last pages. Many surprises. Stretches one's imagination of other realities blending with our own. Quite Glad I was reading a novel rather than watching a movie because there was substantial gore, creepiness, and the two assassins were beyond sinister and sickening in their gleeful anticipation of, and during the infliction of pain. I love it when a fantasy includes animals that can speak to humans.

Apr 19, 2017

It was a page turner. It was a good story. It was a fairy tale and the outcome was as expected.
Nothing outstanding.

MomoT Jan 11, 2017

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman has had an odd sort of genesis. It started out as a BBC mini-series, he then penned a novelisation and then that novel was the basis of the comics.

It's a rollicking good tale of a shady nether world below London involving magic, murder, revenge and the finding of courage. Made more enjoyable for me because I have lived in London.

Jan 09, 2017

Again, Neil Gaiman does it! Neverwhere was one of the most enjoyable reads I have read in the past ten years. I loved this book to pieces and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading. I would say it is a definite "must buy" for your collection if you have one; and a great start if you don't. It is not a "curl up by a nice fire and read" kind of book because it takes you on so many levels of emotions that your body will physically change positions during the course of the book. The most amazing thing about this book is that it is not even my favorite work of Gaiman's. We are in the midst of a living legend and he is, personally, my favorite author of our time. Not to say there hasn't been books I didn't like of his, but Neverwhere isn't one of them.

Nov 22, 2016

Though this is not the genre I tend to read I had to for a class. I thoroughly enjoyed the way he describes the setting and the characters. His setting is so well defined (at least for the Below London) that it is a character itself.

I'm a strong believer that if there are openings or holes in the story it should be filled before the end, the hardest part when this book ended is there were too many holes that weren't filled and I still had too many questions.

If you've never read a fantasy this is a great one to be the first. You'll appreciate the way his writing flows, his description of characters, and the many ways you are able to grow the world in your own mind with his guidance.

Gaiman's first novel isn't perfect, but is a great introduction to his wonderful storytelling. His fantastical vision of a city beneath London is filled with memorable characters. If you enjoy this, consider picking up Un Lun Dun by China Mieville.

Sep 09, 2016

It looks like a dark fantasy novel, but it actually got quite a few chuckles out of me. It has a solid storyline and terrific characters, and I could hardly put it down!

Aug 13, 2016

Imagine "Alice in Wonderland" without the literary witticisms and with the grittiness of an adult "Jacob Two-Two". Richard, who feels like an observer and misfit in his own life, falls into a bizarre underworld of misfits and spends most of the book trying to get back where he started. The ending is obvious but appropriate. Gaiman could have done a lot more with this book but it was a nice change.

Jul 24, 2016

Gaiman's best book by far. He has created a complex and rich world with strong believable characters. Hell tells a kick-ass story with his signature dark humour.

May 06, 2016

12/3 - Neil Gaiman! I'm finally reading a Neil Gaiman book!! I hope I enjoy it as much as most of the rest of the reading population seem to have.

I don't really know what to expect from this book, the summary on the back wasn't particularly enlightening as to exactly what the book is about. In the author's note, at the beginning, Gaiman talks about wanting to write something that would recreate the feeling he had when, as a child, he first read The Wizard of Oz, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Alice in Wonderland, but he wanted that feeling for adults. That statement has kind of given me the expectation that this is going to be pretty epic (or at least that Gaiman believes I will find it so). I was trying not to let my expectations get too high, but that author's note completely ruined my ability to be impartial, my ability to start reading without an unbiased view of the book. To be continued...


14/3 - Not really sure what to think of this so far. It's got lots of interesting ideas - a girl named Door who can open doors in, it seems so far, anything; two sinister men, who appear to satiate their hunger on rats, chasing her down slowly but tenaciously (a bit Terminator-like, no hurrying necessary because they know they'll find her eventually no matter where she runs to); and some poor normal guy, Richard, who's gotten caught up in everything thanks to an impulsive act of kindness - but I can't say for sure whether all these ideas have been put together in that 'epic' way that I was expecting from the author's note I mentioned above. To be continued...

15/3 - I would not be surprised if the Marquis de Carabas turned out to be Vandermar and Croup's boss, the one on the phone berating them for not securing a body guard for Door who's in their pocket. All these cold looks he keeps giving Door seem to be a big giveaway, and then he came back from being elsewhere at the same time that Croup was on the phone with the boss. Maybe it's a red herring, maybe it's a mystery that's way too easy to solve. To be continued...

16/3 - Okay, so not quite the can't-put-it-down excitement-fest I was hoping for, but it was a lot of fun and when I got to the end and Richard just got up and followed Carabas through the door my first thought was "Oh no, that can't be the end! I want to read about the quest to find Door's sister." My favourite part of the book was the whole 'quest' feeling that I got from the story, walking from clue to clue picking up and losing members of the troupe, everyone there because they were destined to be there. I also liked the way Richard reminded me of Bilbo Baggins in his way of facing danger - really, really don't want to do it and I'm shaking with fear at the thought of danger and pain, but I'll still do it anyway. If there was a Neverwhere II I'd be getting it ASAP, I'm really sad there isn't.

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Jul 24, 2016

"...I would hate to remove an option before it was necessary. Anyway death is so final, isn't it?"

Jun 21, 2016

"Have you ever got everything you ever wanted? And then realized it wasn't what you wanted at all?"......"I thought I wanted this," said Richard. "I thought I wanted a nice, normal life. I mean, maybe. But if this is all there is, then I don't want to be sane. You know?"

leah_p Mar 09, 2016

“Richard wrote a diary entry in his head.

Dear Diary, he began. On Friday I had a job, a fiancée, a home, and a life that made sense. (Well, as much as any life makes sense). Then I found an injured girl bleeding on the pavement, and I tried to be a Good Samaritan. Now I've got no fiancée, no home, no job, and I'm walking around a couple of hundred feet under the streets of London with the projected life expectancy of a suicidal fruitfly.”

Jul 05, 2013

The boy had the towering arrogance only seen in the greatest of artists and all nine-year-old boys.

Sep 21, 2011

"You don't ask any questions. You don't get any answers. You don't stray from the path. You don't even think about what's happening to you right now. Got it?"


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Jul 05, 2013

Another great story from Neil Gaiman. This one takes place in the Underworld of London.

Nov 12, 2012

When Richard Mayhew stops one day to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk, his life is forever altered, for he finds himself propelled into an alternate reality that exists in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.


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Brenda74 Nov 12, 2012

Brenda74 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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