Author: Gaiman, Neil

Title: Neverwhere

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: 1996

Geographical Setting: London

Time Period: Present Day

Series: no, but it has been made into a BBC mini-series

Plot Summary: Richard Mayhew is an average guy, working in a cubicle in London and engaged to a beautiful but bossy woman. One night while walking to a restaurant with his fiancee, Richard comes across a strange girl named Door who has been badly injured and stops to help. After a most unusual evening, Door disappears, but the trouble has just started for Richard. Finding himself invisible to everyone around him, a frustrated Richard goes in search of Door to get his life back. What he finds is a world full of murky and menacing characters from days gone by, lurking in filthy sewers, eerie subway stations, abandoned buildings and pigeon-covered rooftops. To escape London Below, helpless Richard must join Door and her entourage on a dangerous mission to find out why her aristocratic family was murdered and why she is still being hunted. As they travel through the shadows of this underground world, Richard and Door encounter mythical beasts and twisted assassins, angels and monks, even an earl holding court in a subway car. Gaiman’s darkly imaginative story pulls readers in from the beginning and holds their attention through many twists and turns with witty and accessible dialogue and vivid descriptions of characters and places. A detailed map of the London Underground, complete with historical information about stop openings and closings, lends a sense of authenticity to the story.

Appeal Terms: Fantastical, vivid, action-oriented, cinematic, violent, plot twists, urban, dark, atmospheric, suspenseful, absorbing, witty

Subject Headings: fiction about London, fantasy fiction, good and evil, subways, parallel universes

Three Terms that Best Describe the Book: dark, labyrinthine, imaginative

Three Nonfiction Titles:

Labyrinths of Iron: A History of the World’s Subways by Benson Bobrick
– Traces the history and development of subways, focusing on the systems in London, Paris, and New York)

Subway: The Story of Tunnels, Tubes, and Tracks by Larry Dane Brimner
– Tour of the various subway systems around the world, how they were originally designed and built, and how they are maintained and used now)

Hiding in the Mirror: The Mysterious Allure of Extra Dimensions, from Plato to String Theory and Beyond by Lawrence M. Krauss
– Scientists, mathematicians, artists, and writers consider the concept of alternate universes, exploring popular theories about such topics as black holes, life in other dimensions, and string theory)

Three Fiction Titles:

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
– Set in an alternative England in the 1980s, a “literary detective” tries to prevent book characters from being kidnapped

Mind the Gap: A Novel of Hidden Cities by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon
– A girl travels under present-day London in underground tunnels that conceal a hidden world and uncovers a conspiracy

Sunshine by Robin McKinley
– A magical urban fantasy featuring a chatty vampire

Annotation by: Debbie


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