Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

Neverwhere book cover Neverwhere (1996,1997)
A dark fantasy set in the London Underground

Avon paperback
370 pages

From the back cover of the book:
       Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart---and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. From that moment forward he is propelled into a world he never dreamed existed---a dark subculture flourishing in abandoned subway stations and sewer tunnels below the city---a world far stranger and more dangerous than the only one he has ever known...

Description from the audio version:
       Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty demanding fiancée. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her---and the life he knows vanishes like smoke.
       Several hours later, the girl is gone too, and by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won't stop for him, his landlord rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness---to a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.

Read for group discussion on March 24, 1999

Gaiman was the author and creator of the 1996 six-part BBC television series "Neverwhere", which inspired this novel. Gary Bakewell, who narrates the audio version, played Richard Mayhew in the TV series.
How we each rated this book
Dan 8 Amy 9 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
Cheri 8 Barb 7
Aaron - Cynthia 8
Lindsey 8 Jackie 8
Kerry 8 Ron 8

Our book group has also selected the following books by Neil Gaiman:
-- Good Omens (written with Terry Pratchett) in May 1996
Stardust  in February 2000
-- American Gods  in June 2002
-- Coraline  in January 2004
-- Anansi Boys  in January 2007
-- Fragile Things  in March 2008

Neil Gaiman (1960-    ) is a writer of graphic novels, fantasy comic books, and fiction. Originally from England, Gaiman now lives in the United States.

1991 World Fantasy Award for Short Story (with Charles Vess) for "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
1999 Mythopoeic Award for Best Adult Novel for Stardust
2000 Bram Stoker Award for graphic novel The Sandman: The Dream Hunters
2002 Hugo Award for Best Novel American Gods
2002 Bram Stoker Award for novel American Gods
2003 Nebula Award for Best Novel American Gods
2003 Hugo Award for Best Novella "Coraline"
2003 Bram Stoker Award for work for younger readers "Coraline"
2004 Nebula Award for Best Novella "Coraline"
2004 Hugo Award for short story "A Study in Emerald"

Neil Gaiman has written the novels Neverwhere (1997), Stardust (1998), American Gods (2001), and Anansi Boys (2005).  Stardust was published in comic form with pictures by Charles Vess.

He wrote with author Terry Pratchett Good Omens, The Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter (1990), a fantasy novel about the end of the world.

Coraline (2002) is a young adult short novel illustrated by Dave McKean.  InterWorld (with Michael Reaves, 2007) is a young adult novel featuring travel between dimensions.  The Graveyard Book (2008) is a young adult fantasy novel.

For children (reading level ages 4-8) he's written The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish (1998) and The Wolves in the Walls (2003).  Both are illustrated by Dave McKean.

Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions (1998), and Angels and Visitations: A Miscellany (1993) and Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders (2006) are collections.  M is for Magic (2007) is a YA collection.

Gaiman's first graphic novel was Violent Cases: Words and Pictures (illustrated by Dave McKean, 1987). For DC comics in the US he wrote Black Orchid (#1,-#3, 1989).

Gaiman's gained success with the acclaimed Sandman series of dark fantasy graphic novels. Characters include Death, the dark maiden, and Dream. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (#19, drawn by Charles Vess, 1990) won a World Fantasy Award for best short story.

Sandman graphic novels:
1 - Preludes and Nocturnes (1990)
2 - The Doll's House (1990)
3 - Dream Country (1991)
4 - Season of Mists (1992)
5 - A Game of You (1993)
6 - Fables and Reflections (1993)
7 - Brief Lives (1994)
8 - Worlds' End (1994)
9 - The Kindly Ones (1995)
10 - The Wake (1997)
11 - Endless Nights (2003)
Dust Covers -The Collected Sandman Covers 1989-1997 (1998)
Death: The High Cost of Living (1994)
Death : The Time of Your Life (1997)

The Sandman: The Dream Hunters
(1999) is a cross between Japanese fables and Gaiman's Sandman universe. It's lavishly illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano, but it's not a true graphic (i.e., comic book style) novel. This volume grew out of research Gaiman did after accepting to write the English dialog for the US release of the anime film, Princess Mononoke.

Other graphic novels by Gaiman are Signal to Noise (illustrated by Dave McKean, 1992) about a dying movie producer; The Tragical Comedy or the Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch (1994); The Books of Magic (1993); Spawn: Angela's Hunt (1998); Last Temptation (2001, illustrated by Michael Zulli, inspired by rock legend Alice Cooper); and Harlequin Valentine (2002, illustrated by John Bolton).  Eternals (illustrated by John Romita Jr., 2007) revisits Jack Kirby's Eternals Marvel superhero series.

Day of the Dead: A Babylon 5 scriptbook (1998) is TV media tie-in.

Nonfiction books he's written are Duran Duran (1985), Ghastly Beyond Belief (with Kim Newman 1985), and Don't Panic: The Official Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion (1988).

Our book club's page for Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Our book club's page for American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Our book club's page for Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Fantastic Reviews: Aaron's book review of Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Fantastic Reviews: Jackie's book review of Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman - Wikipedia
The Dreaming - The Neil Gaiman Page
The SF Site: An Interview with Neil Gaiman (Feb. '99)
Mythopoeic Society - book review: Neverwhere
DangerMedia Innerview Neil Gaiman
The SF Site Featured Review Neverwhere
January magazine: Interview Neil Gaiman
The Wake Information about Neil Gaiman's Sandman
The SF Site An Interview With Neil Gaiman (Aug. 2000)
Science Fiction Weekly Interview - Neil Gaiman (2004)
Science Fiction Weekly Interview - Neil Gaiman (2001)

Return to Home Page - Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

This page was last updated November 05, 2009