I am a genuine “giver” applicant for the 2013 World Book Night. My first duty as aspirant was to nominate four books I deem worthy of giving away. It was my great pleasure to nominate Neverwhere, which I found to be a fantastic read.
Now, sadly, our group read of Neverwhere is over, and it’s time for final thoughts.
Our fearless leader Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings has asked us to consider the characters we found compelling as well as what impacted us when reading.
I love what happens to Croup and Vandemar—the windy sweep into Never-Neverwhere. It is a darkly comic scene befitting two dastardly villains.
I wish Door could be my friend. What a great name and concept! She opens up a life of possibilities for Richard in her trademark brown leather jacket and worn lace. She is pure in heart.
I enjoyed the development of the marquis as mentor for Richard and adviser for the brave band of warriors. Following his resurrection, he becomes a noble figure and voice of authority capable of ferreting out truth and justice. It is he who discovers Hunter’s betrayal, and it is he, rather than Door, who opens the door to Richard in the end.
Angel fascinated me, the way the author played on the Lucifer archetype. It’s clear-headed Marquis who pronounces to a naïve Richard, “When angels go bad…they go worse than anyone” (303).
As a writer, I was blown away (much like Croup and Vandemar, but in a good way) by Gaiman’s command of style. Pitch-perfect scenes. Crisp, cinematic vignettes such as the one in Earl’s Court. The author layers in back story an eye-dropful at a time to build the suspense of the marquis’s history with the earl.
The use of language is impressive, too, marked by the author’s ability to drop-kick words and expectations. I love this passage: “The angel took a step forward. It was as if it were dreaming with its eyes wide open. The light from the crack in the door bathed its face, and it drank it in like wine” (328). Echoes of the golden Atlantis wine we associate with this character, and just like the reader earlier, the angel is in for a bit of a surprise.
I am still musing over Gaiman’s theme of death, judgment, and resurrection.
This is not a book I will soon forget.