Book recommendation: Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere

I’ve just finished reading Neverwhere for the third time since I picked it up at random in a used-book store four months ago. Gaiman, apparently, is rather well-known, but I’d never heard of him. I’ve now read American Gods, which I thought was pretty good but not nearly comparable to Neverwhere, a text which, in my view, doesn’t have a word or a scene that isn’t precisely as it should be. 

It’s hard to say anything specific about Neverwhere without spoiling Gaiman’s very careful exposition, so I’m going to put the substance of what I have to say about it after the jump, and urge people who haven’t read the book, but might, to do so before reading past the jump here.

It’s a fantasy with a realistic framework, set in the London of the mid-1990s or perhaps slightly earlier.

Two things the author might have expected me to know that I didn’t in fact know:

* The Marquis de Carabas is the title Puss-in-Boots invents for the miller’s son he wants to pass off as an aristocrat.

* The London Underground station in Islington is Angel.

As a bonus, here’s Pentangle performing the Lyke Wake Dirge, which furnishes one of the book’s epigraphs. (The other is from Chesterton’s The Napoleon of Notting Hill.)


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