Neverwhere

By Neil Gaiman
(William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780380973637, 352pp.)

Publication Date: July 1, 1997

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Description

Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancee. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her--and the life he knows vanishes like smoke.

Several hours later, the girl is gone too. And by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won't stop for him, his hundred rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely 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.

For this is the home of Door, the mysterious girl whom Richard rescued in the London Above. A personage of great power and nobility in this murky, candlelit realm, she is on a mission to discover the cause of her family's slaughter, and in doing so preserve this strange underworld kingdom from the malevolence that means to destroy it. And with nowhere else to turn, Richard Mayhew must now join the Lady Door's entourage in their determined--and possibly fatal--quest.

For the dread journey ever-downward--through bizarre anachronisms and dangerous incongruities, and into dusty corners of stalled time--is Richard's final hope, his last road back to a "real" world that is growing disturbingly less real by the minute.

If Tim Burton reimagined The Phantom of the Opera, if Jack Finney let his dark side take over, if you rolled the best work of Clive Barker, Peter Straub and Caleb Carr into one, you still would have something that fell far short of Neil Gaiman's NEVERWHERE. It is a masterful debut novel of darkly hypnotic power, and one of the most absorbing reads to come along in years.




About the Author

Neil Gaiman has written award-winning books for children and adults, including the Newbery Medal-winning novel The Graveyard Book and Coraline, Stardust, and Odd and the Frost Giants. His picture books include Instructions and Blueberry Girl, illustrated by Charles Vess; The Wolves in the Walls, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, and Crazy Hair, illustrated by Dave McKean; and The Dangerous Alphabet, illustrated by Gris Grimly. A baby giant panda once sat on his lap and ate bamboo in Chengdu, China.

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