Saturday, 23 March 2013

Recommendations: Neverwhere

Here today... Tonight, with a recommendation for ya'll!

Last summer me and my family went on holiday to Dorset and among the numerous books I brought with me was one that my grandpa had been telling me to read for ages, 'Neverwhere' by Niel Gaiman. Now I've read some of Gaiman's stuff before and I've had mixed feelings. I've got a couple of his children's books which I love and I gave Stardust a go to no avail (I'd seen the movie first and the slow paced book just wasn't to my taste back then and especially not in comparison to the film) but then I read 'The Graveyard Book' and I was head over heals in love. You should read that one too!

So when we were in Dorset I began reading 'Neverwhere'. It's a really beautiful book, with the most real and unusual characters, inventive setting and simple, mysterious, sweet, familiar and different storyline I've every come across.

Here's the blurb from the back of the book:
"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."

Whilst I was reading it I could really associate with that "eerily familiar and yet utterly bizarre" feeling. This book is really, really amazing and I would recommend it to almost anyone (so long as they don't mind reading about some slightly gruesome things) and it's even better if you live in London and use the stations that some of the story takes place in. Just watch out for the monster lurking The Gap and the Shepherds of Shepherds Bush, you want to stay away from them too!

If you're not one for reading 'Neverwhere' has been turned into a radio play that is currently airing on BBC Radio four with James McAvoy as Richard Mayhew, Natalie Dormer as The Lady Door and Benedict Cumberbatch as The Angel Islington among other wonderful actors. You can catch up with the episodes here, but be quick the last one is only up for six more days! There's also a TV series that was made back in 1996 which you can probably find online somewhere, though I haven't seen it yet so I don't know how good it is.
listen here
or take another look at the book here


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