I am fairly certain that I have the television series upon which this book is based on my Netflix queque, but I had never gotten around to watching it. This is mostly because I am lazy and just don’t watch that much TV, but now I am not sure that I will watch it, because what if it is not as good as the book?
Neverwhere is about an average man who rescues an injured girl he finds on the sidewalk in London; Richard is henpecked by his ambitious fiance, has a an indistinct corporate life with a collection of troll dolls, and is quite taken aback by finding himself saving the girl named Door. The morning after rescuing Door, he is horrified to discover he has basically been erased from his life, and begins a dangerous and exciting quest to get his normal life back. The basic plot elements seems rather cliche, but for some reason it just seems to really work in this book – the magic of Neil Gaiman, I suppose.
I am currently reading The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks, which is very dense, with some of the longest sentences I have ever read. I am sure that Banks is doing it to serve the story, and it is certainly well written, but it certainly highlights the economy of Gaiman’s prose. Neverwhere, despite being located in some unfamiliar locales, does not get bogged down in detailed descriptions of place or appearance. Perhaps this is a result of being based on an originally visual presentation of the story, but it seems to me that Gaiman is able to evoke mood and atmosphere without enormous amounts of extraneous text. Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book is perhaps a better example for this, but Neverwhere seems to fit in as well. The story moves along briskly, the characters are fun, and it feels like there are more stories to be told about London Below.