Book Reviews,  Europe,  FICTION,  Suspense

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman *** (of 4)

Richard Mayhew, a boring British office worker, finds himself fighting for his life in London Below, a dark mysterious world beneath London’s subway system.  Heroes and villains abound, most with special powers that poor Richard never manages to expect nor understand.  He wanders day upon day asking stupid questions while he tracks after Door, a young female on a quest to find the key that she can give to the angel Islington so it can help her avenge her slaughtered family.  Very much of the Harry Potter genre, with a lick of Brain Jacques Redwall series tossed in.  I much preferred Gaiman’s Anansi Boys.  The well-made point of Neverwhere is that grinding through a daily life in London Above — monotonous job, mind-numbing commute, accompanying a standard girlfriend on her unimaginative weekend shopping trips — is not very far from a living death.  Facing real death and testing one’s limits even in the face of mortal danger is far closer to having a real life.