So this is the first blog of the 30 Day Book Challenge. Before I answer the question above I just wanted to state that although this blog is about me expanding my literary horizons and reading a broader range of books on a variety of subjects, I am going to answer the questions on this challenge honestly (even if I might not want to admit to reading these books!) but I’m also going to try not to repeat myself i.e. Harry Potter will only be mentioned once even if it could be the answer to half the questions, I don’t want to bore you with my love of these books!
It’s taken me a while to think about what books I have read this year – there haven’t been that many – and in the end I have settled on this book for the first challenge. Coincidentally it is also the book chosen by The Other Watson, the blog that I have borrowed the 30 Day Book Challenge idea from. Or it might not be so coincidentally as it was on his recommendation that I read this book in the first place.
This is an author I had heard of, but I wasn’t sure where from. I had seen the odd review of his graphic novel, The Sandman, and even though he came highly praised, I didn’t think he would be an author I would enjoy. In my ignorance I hadn’t realised that he was the author of the book which was adapted for one of my most beloved films, Stardust, and it was only when I read the review by The Other Watson last year that I was inspired to read some of his back catalogue, including this book. It was also after reading the review that I realised that he appeared on my Top 100 Books list as well.
Neverwhere, like Neil Gaiman’s other books, is a fantasy novel with a large dollop of realism thrown in just to disturb you a little and make you wonder if such a place may actually exist. This is where the magic starts with this book, set in the world as we know it but then the other, magical world, starts to seep into the life of our protagonist, Richard Mayhew. He is surrounded by characters who are as dirty and conniving on the inside as they first appear on the outside, but as Richard becomes mores involved in London below these motley crew of allies start to seem normal and it is the inhabitants of London above that seem strange and untrustworthy to both Richard and the reader. Neil Gaiman captivates you with his imagination and the world he has created on the pages of this book. The pace is perfect as it cuts back and forth from different characters and the plot unravels at speed as the story winds it way through the sewers and forgotten underground stations of London. The story line on paper is simple, in brief it is a quest with a slightly unwilling hero who is finding himself, but yet it is so intriguing you can’t put it down with the various plot twists keeping you guessing right until the end. I would recommend anyone with an unfettered imagination to read this book and I would rate it above Stardust, the only other book I have read of his. Perfect for anyone who wants to while away a lazy day this winter by being transported to another world.