The thing that I love, and at the same time the thing that irks me the most about Neil Gaiman is his ability to create this alternate reality that is incredibly detailed with characters and history. Then at the end of the story he dismisses the world he has created and moves on to another one. With both American Gods and the most recent book of Mr. Gaiman's I read, Neverwhere, he creates these intricate worlds with expansive histories and hundreds of characters that are only touched on for moments. Needless to say I found myself enveloped by these stories and characters and would like very much to hear more about the Marquis and Richard (though I did just receive Anansi Boys in the mail, a novel that is based in the same world as American Gods). But enough about my wants.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman did not disappoint in the artfully constructed fictional reality department. The characters were many and a couple of them I could not get enough of (Richard and Marquis especially). While the Marquis was a nice bit of snide and sarcastic ego worked into a heroes tale Richard himself was a perfect vehicle to reflect the thoughts the reader may have whilst engrossed in the story.
Richard does take a lead in scenes and is by know means a hollow character yet at the same time he is left out of the dialogue for pages at a time only to pop up with a sort of color commentary on the scene that is unfolding. It as if the rest of the scene is a play by play commentator and Richard is the second guy in the booth who chimes in with a "Woah!' and "Great shot by Neely on that play!". I do not know if he is meant to call attention to this or that but I can say that his mutterings in the middle of scenes are greatly appreciated.
Unlike American Gods, which may have been a bit longer than it was needed, Neverwhere is too short. The story flies by too quickly and could have used a slower pace in certain moments. Though I can not say that the book is any less enjoyable due to the lack of details.
The cover is average. Having seen what the new Fragile Things, Smoke and Mirrors and Anansi Boys looks like I think it is fair to say that this cover is lacking. It looks rushed and neglected. A photo with an easy Photoshop action to hide the blurriness below.
I read this book months ago, along with two others that I hope to post on soon (no promises). In the meantime you can blame The Economist. Katy does all ready.
Speaking of Katy and Neil Gaiman, Katy and I went to see Neil Gaiman's fiance Amanda Palmer play with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for New Years. After the show we bought their book and waited in line to have them both sign it. When it came to be our turn to get the book signed we both froze up (One could say we were starstruck) and kinda of mumble an inaudible greeting. We ended up leaving the whole ordeal with this dazed look in our eyes and feeling a bit silly.