Looking back at BBC Two's Neverwhere
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Now you're one of them. Good night. It has just the right amount of wild imagination inexplicably somehow still grounded in firm reality , a healthy dose of absurdity and strangeness, remarkably colorful larger-than-life characters, unforgettable setting that is more of a character than a simple backdrop, and, of course, sufficient amount of lovely dry humor.

Besides, there is that certain 'something' in Neil Gaiman's writing that keeps bringing me back to his works - that cleverness, I guess, that boldness in his approach to writing, that apt descriptiveness that burns scenes into your mind without becoming boringly detailed or repetitive, and the bit of mesmerizing darkness he harbors in all of his works, regardless of the theme or target audience. Richard Mayhew is a timid and perfectly average London guy who suffers from a noticeable lack of figurative backbone - and the only time in his life he does show some of that ill-fated backbone, combined with some very real compassion, he gets himself into trouble that is waaaay over his head.

Let Richard tell you about it himself: "Dear Diary," he began. It is a place that exists outside of our conventions of time and space, touching our reality but not quite overlapping it. It is a place for those who fell between the cracks - think of those you usually do not notice even if you walk past them on the street, like the homeless, for instance; they are already invisible to us.

It is also a place for those who spent too much time in the company of the supernatural, and for those who don't fit in our world. You can view it as a colorful tapestry - or more aptly, as a dirty filthy rag made of mismatched and threadbare bits and pieces that once were something grand and even now create a mesmerizing albeit puzzling effect through their sheer strangeness and unexpected combination.

And it is a place that has teeth and is ready to bite. It is harsh and cruel, full of menacing dangers lurking around every corner. Friends can quickly turn into foes, and promising a favor is a serious thing that can get you far in this world. It takes skill to survive here. And Richard is very much NOT prepared for that. It had magnificently failed to prepare him for a life as an un-person on the roofs and in the sewers of London, for a life in the cold and the wet and the dark.

Of course I'm talking about Marquis here, the not-so-honest and yet brave and loyal for a reasonable price of a favor Marquis de Carabas , the guy who you would ultimately want covering your back in a sticky situation as long as you can overlook the fact that he may have had something to do with creating the said sticky situation in the first place!

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Well, you know, to be honest, he seems a little bit dodgy to me. The steps dead-ended in a rough brick wall. Some things don't make sense. Others make way too much sense, are way too literal Earl's Court or Knightsbridge, for instance.

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He is so out of place here, it's almost painful to read, as you wince and cringe at his pathetic attempts to clutch to what he continues to view as safety and sanity. And no, this sanity does not normally involve girls named Door or a charming scoundrel Marquis de Carabas, or Angel Islington, or outwordly hired thugs Croup and Vandemar, or Rat Speakers, or Beast of London, or the real Old Bailey, or the nonexistent British Museum underground station where Earl's Court can get you if you so please.

He was damned if he was going to start now. Still, it was much easier not to believe in something when it was not actually looking directly at you and saying your name. In other words, Richard Mayhew just may have gone native. Unlike Dorothy and her Toto, he may not want to just live happily ever after in his version of Kansas. Haven't we always wondered whether there ay be something else we may be better suited to be and do?

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman | Waterstones

Haven't we wanted to escape somewhere Isn't that some of the reasons we wan t to immerse ourselves into worlds of fantasy at least for a short while? The pub. Meeting girls. Living in the city. Is that all there is?

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Because, of course, no matter how much we want to, we will never escape the real life. Or can we? After reading this book, I know I would want to, had I been in Richard's place.

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Neverwhere is the companion novelisation written by English author Neil Gaiman of the television serial Neverwhere, by Gaiman and Lenny Henry. The plot and. Neverwhere is an urban fantasy television series by Neil Gaiman that first aired in on BBC Two. The series is set in "London Below", a magical realm.

But I cannot, and so I appreciate my mundane uneventful life - but what if I didn't have to? Who knows Then Richard nodded, without trusting himself to speak, and stood up. And they walked away together through the hole in the wall, back into the darkness, leaving nothing behind them; not even the doorway. May 18, Kat Kennedy rated it liked it Shelves: the-great-shelf-of-meh , kat-s-book-reviews. I first started reading this book and honestly wanted to just chuck it in the bin.

I said very mean things about the protagonist under my breath. Surely, I said, a Protagonist means that they are pro and totally into furthering the story. Surely, Protagonist is the similar to Proactive and Productive. I was wrong. The word Protagonist, in its basic form is not similar to proactive. It simply, from the Greek plays, means the principle character or the first speaking character. However, I maintain th I first started reading this book and honestly wanted to just chuck it in the bin.

However, I maintain that the kind of protagonist that most people want to read about is one that actually bloody does something! In many senses it utterly manages to be magical and creative and fun. It fails, however, to be clever. There are so many lines in this book intending to be dry wit and just come off dry stupid. Allow an example: There are four simple ways for the observant to tell Mr Coup and Mr Vandemar apart: first, Mr Vandemar is two and a half heads taller than Mr Croup; second, Mr Croup has eyes of a faded, china blue while Mr Vandemar's eyes are brown; third, while Mr Vandemar fashioned the rings he wears on his right hand out of the skulls of four ravens, Mr Croup has no obvious jewellery; fourth, Mr Croup likes words, while Mr Vandemar is always hungry.

Also, they look nothing at all alike. I see what you did there! If he'd left out these lame little lines I think I probably would have enjoyed this novel a whole lot more. Just about every other character in this story is awesome except for the protagonist.


Give me a story about Marquis de Carabas and I will read it in a second. Honestly, fantastic character right there. Tell me I have to read another whiny missive about Richard Mayhew and I will likely stick hot pokers into my eyes first. I get it. I really do. It's a journey. The total character growth comes to equal someone who doesn't just sit idly by and let people take stuff from him. Let me give you an example.

He met a girl who was unconscious in the streets and bleeding to death. He takes her home. This causes his fiancee to break up with him. He then goes through a lengthy process to get the girl back where she came from. Once he does this he then loses his job, his apartment and all his money.

He then goes to find the girl for a an explanation and b help. Without her help he will probably die as another side effect of having met her is that he has two psychopathic killers on his tail. She simply apologizes and walks away, abandoning him. So what does he do? Does he chase her down and gently remind her that she owes him a favor? Does he barter and trade what he can, whilst trying to lure the killers into a trap so that he can some how defend himself?

Richard leaned against a wall, and listened to their footsteps, echoing away, and to the rush of the water running past on its way to the pumping station of East London, and the sewage works. And then, to his surprise, for the first time since his father died, alone in the dark, Richard Mayhew began to cry. He decides to stay there and die. That's right, folks.

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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 Grass grew up through the springs. A light was kindled and flickered. Neil Gaiman. May 18, Kat Kennedy rated it liked it Shelves: the-great-shelf-of-meh , kat-s-book-reviews. That's why the story is never boring.

He just stays there waiting to die. Ya know, I don't accept this crap from a female character - nor do I accept it from a man.

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How the hell am I suppose to sympathize with someone who so blithely lets everything he has slip through his fingers because he can't speak up and demand explanations or some kind of help? This level of pitiful doesn't help the audience empathize - it makes them think your protagonist is an idiot. The plot is pretty good - despite everything being painfully obvious and predictable at the end.

The world building is fantastic. It's probably the best thing about this book. It's really creative and fascinating and interesting. Over all, it was an alright read. It wasn't great. I labored through until the last half where it began to pick up and markedly improve. Thus only three stars. Had the first half been more like the last half then it would have earned four. View all 58 comments.