Neverwhere from here, there and everywhere
Posted September 20, 2011on:
Neil Gaiman is a stunningly original writer at times and at times he’s quite pedestrian. For me his best work is still in his comics.
He gathers his ideas from many sources and half the pleasure of reading his works comes from appreciating his allusions. I can’t claim I get them all. In this one, the hoodlums Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar reminded me of the two thugs, Slugsy and Horror, who come calling on Vivienne Michel in The Spy Who Loved Me, one of the least-read James Bond novels. Does Neil really expect everyone to pick up on this? Hardly. But I suppose thugs like these crop up everywhere in fiction and films.
The playful treatment of London’s place names probably works best for those of us lucky enough to live in London. The grimy reality is so different from the fantastical images conjured up by the author’s imagination that we can’t help but be impressed.
Still, the novel was a bit of a slog in the middle section and the ideas seemed somewhat forced.