Under the streets of London there's a world most people could never even dream of: a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew is a young businessman who is about to find out more than he bargained for about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his safe and predictable life and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and yet utterly bizarre.
There's a girl named Door, an Angel called Islington, an Earl who holds Court on the carriage of a Tube train, a Beast in a labyrinth, and dangers and delights beyond imagining.... And Richard, who only wants to go home, is to find a strange destiny waiting for him below the streets of his native city.
©2000 Neil Gaiman (P)2012 Headline Digital
"A very fine and imaginary writer" (The Sunday Times)
This is a great read and typically in the great Neil Gaiman style, dark, very dark, but hilarious, frightening in places, but full of the best things in life too, loyalty, kindness, strength in adversity, humour, true friendships and sacrifices for those friendships.
The characters are great, and the main one is likeable and builds, as you read/listen, into a person of true integrity. It is the ultimate 'grown up' fairy tale, and is cleverly devised, with reference to the book's play on real places in and around London (you do not need to be familiar with theses places), and how they came to be called what they did. It is also, in the vain of the best fairy tales, full of moral examples of good and bad 'reaping as they sow'.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first, second and third listen, yes really its one of those listens that you want to start again as soon as you have finished it's that good!.
It was my fault that this book didn't grab me from the off , I haven't previously read any of the authors other offerings and the fantasy setting of London Below just had me bewildered for the first quarter of the story . So glad I stuck with it and after 'concentrating ' a bit harder was drawn into this imaginary alternative world . The lead character is wimpish and also takes time for you to side with him and I was wanting to shout at him to "grow a pair !" more than just a few times ! but eventually I enjoyed him as I did most of the other characters especially the cunning Mr Vandamar and Mr Croup ,cartoon baddies with an evil streak indeed ,but conversely some of the hero characters were a bit vague . I'll check out more of the authors books when I get a chance.
I first came across Neil Gaiman when I took the Kids to see Coraline. Wow even my wife was scared. It was fantastic. Then I came across American Gods. Probably the best book I have ever read. So... My expectations were very high and i was almost bound to be disappointed. Sadly I was. this is a very good book and the story is interesting and very clever. His play on place names is brilliant and the story shocks, amuses and draws you in. So what was wrong. Nothing. My only complaint was the characters did not have the depth of those in America Gods and I wanted them to.
It really is a pleasure to listen to and if you can enjoy this then go to American Gods.
Highly original audiobook and very well read. I will never go on London underground without this book coming to mind.
I had never read or listened to a Neil Gaiman book before but I loved this book. Entertaining to the very last page. Would definitely recommend
I drive lots, and audiobooks help maintain my concentration on the road. I have mainly SF, self help and the odd comedy book
I was initially sceptical about this tale, I thought it would be twee, as the most of the main characters have interesting names that reflect their characteristics. Once over that it was a fabulous experience, with a rolling feel, and very good coverage of the different threads. I was very impressed with Neil's narration, he caught the different characters vocal nuances and accents very well, to the extent I could tell who was talking without the preface of "...", Hunter said. I have enjoyed American Gods before this, and thoughtits one weakness was the different voices, and wanted to hear more of Neil's precise diction. I am so glad he went to the trouble of doing this one all the way through.
This book tells a tale on the dark side of London
And no I'm not talking about Brixton.
This is the opening to the neverwhere,
Another dimension that runs under London.
Where magical creatures, angels and assassins walk shoulder to shoulder.
And now a hapless upsider Richard Mayhew has stumbled over an unexpected door, a door which will lead him away from his safe life with his Fiancé and in to a unforgiving world where he will have the adventure of his lifetime. But there are others in the neverwhere who may shorten his lifetime considerably.
I really liked this book.
It's read by the writer and although his voice may sound a little light and whimsical to begin with, I found I grew to like it.
The story isn't over egged and is easy to follow without being to predictable.
Although I'm sure you'll know who the baddie is by half way through.
It also has a great use of the names of places in London, that have a more realistic meaning to them.
For instance you will hear of an angel called islington, and a (k) nights bridge which is covered by night.
Even the door that Richard stumbles apon is actual a girl called Door.
I've read a couple of neils books and this is the one I'd recommend.
I read this for the first time years ago and hesitated to get it on Audible because the characters already had their own voices in my mind. I made this mistake when watching the TV adaptation of the book which was a mess. But, given that the narrator was Neil Gaiman himself, I felt I really did have to buy it in order to hear what he actually imagined when he wrote the book. And it was wonderful!! I thought it impossible for the book to be any better than the classic it is, but Neil's voice makes it so, it is like having a window into his mind through his voice. If you only ever "read" this book once, do yourself a favour and get the audible version and hear it in Neil's voice. I've listened to it several times since getting it and it will be always one of my favourites. Mind the gap now! ;-)
I enjoyed this journey into a subterranean, parallel London where time and space are a little elastic and features of London become living things. Not so keen on the rats (never a big fan). Gaiman's narration is consistent as ever and the plot is fine although you can see certain parts of it coming from a considerable distance but he tells the story effectively and enjoyably. I have given this 4 stars as I did enjoy the book but did not feel it was as good as 'Americans Gods' which reflects the fact that personally speaking I found the characters and plot lines more engaging. Still a very good book which I really enjoyed.
"Neil Gaiman at his best!"
hmm, it's up there with all my favourites. I would read this again and again!
I didn't see the twist coming! He had me fooled all the way. Satisfying ending!
I loved Hunter. And Islington. Listen, and you'll find out why.
Yes, but why the heck would I give it away? That's for the listeners to find out!
Some have said this is not true Neil Gaiman style, but I have to disagree. Perhaps the protagonist of this book reminded me of the protagonist in Gaiman's novel 'Anansi boys', but it didn't detract from the novel, only made him more predictable in the sense that I knew where he would end up at the finish.
For another great read/listen of Gaiman's, tuck into 'The Graveyard Book', it's a good'un!
"A WHOLE NEW WORLD TO DISCOVER"
One of the pleasures of life is to discover a terrific new book/writer. I have only just come across Neil Gaiman and then to download this book with the author narrating was a double pleasure. A work of incredible imagination which uses history, culture through the ages, religious icons and the London Underground to weave a true tale of fantasy, an alternative parallel universe under the feet of people in the city. Leaves many erstwhile fantasy writers books dead in their tracks. The author brings each of his characters to life with subtle inflections of voice, I will certainly try his other works. Do yourself a treat and listen or read you won't be disappointed.
"Loved this book"
I have to say I loved Neil Gaimans the Graveyard book, and I equally loved this book. Its a real adventure through an underworld London. The characters are interesting and things are never quite what they seem. Gorgeous story. Loved it. I'll be getting more of Neil Gaimans stories.
"Intriguing and satisfying"
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is perfect for audio - strong and memorable imagery, fast-paced, enjoyable characters and a satisfying ending.
"Never disappointed with Neil Gaiman."
No, I really enjoyed listening to this narrator's interpretation of the book. I was sorry when it ended
Listening to books on audio is a return to the days of childhood when someone read a story for you. The personality that can be put into the read itself enriches the story immeasurably.
"Brilliant to hear this read by the author"
Being sucked right in Neil Gaiman's world along with the writer and hearing his imagining of the world and the characters. His character voices were amazing.
Richard. He is a sympathetic character and a wonderful audience identification character because we are experiencing a new world along with him. I cheered him on in his heroic moments and wanted to hug him in his moments of despair.
I have never listened to any of Neil Gaiman's performances before, but would definitely listen to more after this. He reads beautifully and has a lovely voice.
Yes, several, particularly moments when Richard was despairing and alone in the world. It was easy to be moved by his plight thanks to Neil Gaiman's wonderful reading and the power of his writing.
That has been the best novel I have read in a long time. Every character managed to leap off the page and play in my brain while I read this novel. The only way that I can think of describing it is to say that it's like Alice in Wonderland written for adults in modern London where there is a London Above which we can all see and a London Below which is secret and goes unseen by everyone in London Above. Richard Mayhew moves from London Above to London Below after he stops to help a woman on the street and it's his search to help the woman answer why her family has been murdered and a way for Richard to get back to London Above.
Messrs Croup and Vandermar have to be the best written villains I have ever read and I really wish that at some point (if he hasn't already done so) Gaiman writes a spin-off for these two. Every scene they were involved in was lifted by their presence and I wanted more of them, so much more. Gaiman completely explored the world and I'm not sure if there could ever be a sequel but a novel in the same world would be spectacular.
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