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Summary

The extraordinary first novel by the master of storytelling.

THE EXTRAORDINARY FIRST NOVEL BY THE MASTER OF STORYTELLING

ACCLAIMED BBC RADIO 4 DRAMATISATION WITH ALL-STAR CAST INCLUDING JAMES MCAVOY, NATALIE DORMER, DAVID HAREWOOD, SOPHIE OKONEDO AND BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Under the streets of London lies a world most people could never dream of.

When Richard Mayhew stops to help a girl he finds bleeding in the street, his unremarkable life changes in an instant.

This act of kindness leads him to a place filled with murderers and angels, pale girls in black velvet, a Beast in a labyrinth and an Earl who holds Court in a tube train. It is strangely familiar yet utterly bizarre.

Here is London Below, the city of people who have fallen between the cracks. And for Richard Mayhew, it's just the beginning.

NEIL GAIMAN.

WITH STORIES COME POSSIBILITIES.

©2000 Neil Gaiman (P)2012 Headline Digital

Critic reviews

"Prose that dances and dazzles.... Gaiman describes the indescribable." (Susanna Clarke) 

"It's virtually impossible to read more than ten words by Neil Gaiman and not wish he would tell you the rest of the story." (Observer

"Much too clever to be caught in the net of a single interpretation." (Philip Pullman) 

What listeners say about Neverwhere

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully Neil Gaiman!

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!.

61 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Really great

It is really nice to hear this read by the writer. I really enjoyed the life that Gaiman breathed into this story (on of my favourites of his). If there was one thing that I could change it would be the odd music between chapters, but it is not irritating enough to make any difference (and some people might even enjoy it).

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A dark tunnel through the depths of London

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.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Classic!!

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! ;-)

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Took a while to get into it ...

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.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

highly original

Highly original audiobook and very well read. I will never go on London underground without this book coming to mind.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Bordering on brilliant

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.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Slip through the cracks a while

Great story, I'd just have preferred it read by someone other than Gaiman himself. Perhaps it's the relentless wistful quality or maybe the amateur accents but the narration does begin to grate after a while. Lenny Henry made a fantastic job of Anansi Boys, so he'd be a perfect alternative choice. Still, whatever it's auditory shortcomings, Neverwhere remains a smashing listen and deserves every one of those five stars.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting idea and a novel take on the capital

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great fun

It's a thoroughly enjoyable book - appealing believable characters and interesting plot set in a richly imagined alternative reality. Highly recommended

7 people found this helpful

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  • lynn
  • 07-08-13

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Erin
  • 18-06-12

Neil Gaiman at his best!

Where does Neverwhere rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

hmm, it's up there with all my favourites. I would read this again and again!

What did you like best about this story?

I didn't see the twist coming! He had me fooled all the way. Satisfying ending!

Which character – as performed by Neil Gaiman – was your favorite?

I loved Hunter. And Islington. Listen, and you'll find out why.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, but why the heck would I give it away? That's for the listeners to find out!

Any additional comments?

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!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nat
  • 02-09-20

I felt transported to another world

I felt utterly transported into another world alongside Richard. Neil is such a pleasure to listen to and really brings his books to life.
I think this book is made even more enjoyable if you are familiar with London but its not a must as the story is great in itself.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Rohan Vadgaonkar
  • 21-05-20

It was okay. It didn't feel like it had any depth

It is a light and easy ready but honestly I didn't quite enjoy it. I only picked it up because the author is SO celebrated but I couldn't appreciate it. Didn't feel like it had depth. Or it was so deep that I just couldn't recognize it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • phillalf
  • 13-11-18

Great author, not a voice actor

interesting story. would have benefited by being narrated by an actor rather than the author. the cheap audio effects distract from the story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Caitlyn Storm Lewis
  • 01-11-18

Okay

This is something that would have enthralled me as a kid. Reading this as an adult, I just don’t think the plot setup was clever enough, compared to the likes of Harry Potter.

Characterization was great though, and the author narrates very well. The American character’s accent grates me just a little. #DarkFantasy #MagicalWorld #London #ParallelRealities #IfYouLikedHarryPotter #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ivy
  • 28-08-18

Exceptional!

I loved this book when I read it the first time, so much so that I read it at least one more time after that. The audio book with Neil Gaiman’s narration was a pleasure. I highly recommend it!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joachim L
  • 20-05-18

Interesting read

Read this book as a teenager and couldn't get through it for some reason. Picked it up again and Gaiman's narration got me hooked. A little soft at times but the story more than makes up for it. Would try listening to it again someday.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-04-17

Great listen

It's a great listen and would highly and heartily recommend it for both the young and old alike.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ZC
  • 18-01-17

Master storytelling

Loved it! The author's performance is a perfect accompaniment to the epic adventure quest below.