Suspension of Disbelief: Neverwhere
Suspension of Disbelief is a weekly feature, in which we review movies, books, TV shows, and other popular culture for the skeptical teen.
Review: The story of Neverwhere is the story of London Below, the shadow world existing in the cracks of modern London. In the story, a normal man finds himself accidentally pulled into that world, because he chose to help an injured girl collapsed on the sidewalk. By his simple act of kindness, his fate becomes tangled up with hers, turning his nice safe world completely on its head.
While I enjoyed the story, this was not my favorite piece by Gaiman (Coraline definitely wins that award). The narration style was a bit odd; it jumps between different perspectives and characters a lot, which is a little bewildering, especially early in the book. I also felt like the characters were too much caricatures, with not enough development and growth through the story. I just really couldn’t relate to any of them well, which is unusual for me, and usually makes it a lot harder for me to get into a story.
Neverwhere is also rather an open ended story, with a few more loose ends than I’d have liked. It definitely leaves room for a sequel, but it doesn’t sound like Gaiman has intentions of actually writing one. I’d love to know some more backstory of some of the characters, and understand more of how London Below actually operates. There are hints and mentions, but a lot of things are never really explained to the reader.
Still, I did really like the book, and I plan to re-read it again in the future, to pick up on the foreshadowing and plot details I missed the first time. It’s possible that many of the things that bothered me in this first reading, such as the lack of backstory and explanation, will disappear as I re-discover the world and characters. And the plot line of this story was so engaging, that I really couldn’t put the book down, and read it in about 24 hours, which definitely means it was a good story. Not my favorite, but definitely a good read