THE EXTRAORDINARY FIRST NOVEL BY THE MASTER OF STORYTELLING
'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
ACCLAIMED BBC RADIO 4 DRAMATISATION WITH ALL-STAR CAST INCLUDING JAMES MCAVOY, NATALIE DORMER, DAVID HAREWOOD, SOPHIE OKONEDO AND BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH
'I love doors. Anything that leads to possibilities' NEIL GAIMAN
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.
WITH STORIES COME POSSIBILITIES.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Fear and darkness drive this urban fantasy, set in the tunnels and sewers under London, about a young man’s search for answers when the world below horribly disrupts his ordinary life above. Neil Gaiman’s debut novel, developed alongside the 1996 BBC series of the same name, is splendidly full of the mesmerising characters and arresting visuals that Gaiman has since become known (and highly praised) for. Written with vivid detail, Neverwhere sees Gaiman turn his impressive skill for worldbuilding and symbolism into a compelling reflection on displacement and homelessness.
London businessman Richard Mayhew sees an injured, homeless girl on the street one evening and is compelled to bring her back to his apartment. In this debut novel by Gaiman, author of the wildly successful graphic novel series The Sandman, the girl, whose name is Door, ushers Richard into a strange new world. She communicates with rats and pigeons and is amazed to find herself in what she calls "London Above." When she leaves, however, Richard's ordinary life vanishes with her. He discovers that he is virtually invisible on the street, in his office, even to his fiancee. Believing that only Door can help him, he finds his way to London Below, a menacing, magical netherworld located in the sewers, tunnels and abandoned Underground stations. Inhabited "by the people who fell through the cracks in the world," London Below is equal parts fantasy, nightmare and ragged medieval court life. There, Mayhew joins Door, a female warrior called Hunter and an opportunistic marquis on a quest to discover why Door's family was executed. Villains abound, including a pair of courteous but malevolent assassins. Gaiman blends history and legend to fashion a traditional tale of good versus evil, replete with tarnished nobility, violence, wizardry, heroism, betrayal, monsters and even a fallen angel. The result is uneven. His conception of London Below is intriguing, but his characters are too obviously symbolic (Door, for example, possesses the ability to open anything). Also, the plot seems a patchwork quilt of stock fantasy images. Adapted from Gaiman's screenplay for a BBC series, this tale would work better with fewer words and more pictures. 125,000 first printing; major ad/promo; author tour.