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Neverwhere

Written by: Neil Gaiman
Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (287 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

National Best Seller

Selected as one of NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of All Time

The number one New York Times best-selling author's wildly successful first novel featuring his new Neverwhere tale, "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back".

Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.

"A fantastic story that is both the stuff of dreams and nightmares" (San Diego Union-Tribune), Neil Gaiman's first solo novel has become a touchstone of urban fantasy and a perennial favorite of readers and listeners everywhere.

©1996, 1997, 2014 Neil Gaiman (P)2007, 2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What the critics say

"Gaiman's gift for mixing the absurd with the frightful gives this novel the feeling of a bedtime story with adult sophistication. Readers will find themselves as unable to escape this tale as the characters themselves." ( Library Journal)
"Delightful…inventively horrific."( USA Today)
"[Gaiman] is, simply put, a treasure house of story, and we are lucky to have him in any media." (Stephen King)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully presented enthralling story.

I could listen to Niel Gaiman read his own works indefinitely. Definitely recommend anything he's written and performed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great, but not a masterwork

Neverwhere is both an entertaining book and a compelling love letter to London. Anyone familiar with the city will be sure to enjoy how Gaiman has reimagined its iconic locales.

As always Gaiman is an excellent reader of his own novels. It's a pleasure to hear him read his writing and experience his own vision for the story in his tone and inflections.

Held up to the bar of Gaiman's masterpieces like The Sandman or The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neverwhere does fall a fair ways short. However, it is a fun and fully realized piece of urban fantasy that any fan of the genre, or of Gaiman himself, shouldn't miss.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fun listen of another of Gaiman's hidden worlds

Neverwhere takes a little while to hold your interest but Neil Gaima's reading of the book with his strong voice keeps you interested enough to keep listening. Once you are fully a part of London below then you realize why this became a best seller as the story becomes more and more fascinating

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Gaiman is a literary genius

The worlds he creates are so fantastical, yet so plausible. I hated finishing this book only because I loved it so much. I even bought the paper back version, though I do believe hearing Gaiman read Gaiman has any other iteration bested. Here I am craving more, and not another credit til next month. Well done Mr Gaiman! Getting me to pay full price for another audible (as I am about to do) is not something I had thought possible as I am a cheapskate, tight-fist, or however you’d want to phrase it. But to hear Gaiman reading a work of Gaiman? I just can’t wait!

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  • VS
  • 2019-09-16

Impressed

I was pretty surprised by the story, it was surprisingly interesting to listen. I enjoyed the performance.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Absolutely wonderful.

If you like Neil Gaiman's writing, you'll be as delighted with this title as any of the others. I could nearly not stop listening. Wonderfully, Mr. Gaiman narrates this book. His performance and accents make this selection a delight to listen to. Looking forward to stepping foot into another Gaiman world.

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worth it! fantasy humor and excellent narration

I cannot express enough how wonderful of a narrator Neil Gaiman is. it's just a joy to listen to the author do the own voices and expressions he dreamed up in his head. on-top of that, it's a compelling story with fantastic middle fantasy story elements. if you have any interest in any of the above definitely go for it. not to mention Gaiman has the ability to make you feel smarter having absorbed his excellent vocabulary.

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    4 out of 5 stars

An Odd Story, Wonderfully Told

Neil Gaiman's love of strange, unique stories shines in his storytelling and narration of Neverwhere. While those more familiar with the streets and places of London than I am will probably get more of a kick out of this story than I did, I still quite enjoyed it. Gaiman's narration definitely adds to the experience as you can tell that he performs it as it he meant it to be read. If you're interested in this book, I definitely recommend this version.

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A great story that keeps you coming back

Neil Gaiman should read all his books. He does the voices perfectly, bringing his vision of the characters and stories to life so easily. I even found the bonus story at the end to be really interesting. This is a great story told by a master storyteller.

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Fantastic journey into another world

My first book by Neil Gaiman....I haven't been swept away like this since reading Lord Of The Rings as a child....
The narration was incredible
I will be listening to more of the author's books!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Joseph
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 2009-10-29

Vivid, imaginative.

Gaiman likes otherworldly, mythical tales, and this one wanders around English folklore all the while telling a modern fantasy story in a interdimensional underground London. It's not his greatest work, but it's still better than many other people's greatest works. Some of the characters are simple or bare cartoon sketches. Others are more vivid and intricate, but a little stock. That's a minor criticism--the story is original enough and even the stock characters are portrayed so well that the whole tale is exciting and different and lively.

The book is also a minor education for us Americans, offering a nice glimpse of modern London culture mixed in with a bit of English history, without interrupting the story to do so. Not that Gaiman is on a level with or similar to Dickens, but you can tell he's read a lot of Dickens. He also, like Dickens, enjoys a well turned phrase or a clever pun, and rarely underestimates his audience's ability to follow him.

Gaiman himself reads this, and I enjoyed that. He must have some acting or voice training in his past, because he does a credible job, though not brilliant. What I like is the intimacy of having the author read it--somehow it feels more nuanced and more personal than many professional readers can muster.

Very good book. Worth the listen.

One more thing--I've seen some reviews say it's more for kids, and others say it's too graphic for kids. It is a bit graphic in violence at times, but not more than kids would see on network television. The story is not as mature as, say, American Gods. I'd say it's safe for anyone over twelve unless they are just squeamish. There may be a mention or two of sex, but I don't recall anything vivid. My kids listened, and I never cringed over it.

222 of 234 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas
  • 2007-11-10

Neverwhere is Great

Sometimes hearing the book read aloud kills the story and sometimes it merely aids in the telling of the story. In this edition, the telling makes the story. Having the author read his own work is a potentially iffy situation. But here, Gaiman imbues his characters with such richness that you can't imagine just reading the book. I am not a huge fan of the fantasy genre and classifying this book as fantasy is not quite fair. It is a great adventure that keeps you guessing right up until the end. I highly recommend it.

256 of 273 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • RJT
  • Thornton, CO
  • 2007-10-27

Truly outstamding!

I normally do not write reviews, but I find this book is still rummaging around in my head long after the read.
On the surface, this is a book of nightmares and fairy tales; magic and monsters. On the surface, its an entertaining tale of an epic journey through the imagination.
Deeper though, Gainman brings an unlikely troupe of characters to life. There is an undercurrent, a story within a story if you will, where friendship blossoms, souls grow and mature in situations where both the very best of humanity and the worst of depravity are on display. It’s a story of how one man faces death time and again to gain everything he thought he ever wanted – and discovers it has no meaning when it cannot be shared with those he loves. In the end, Richard finds it is not what we have but who we have that makes our lives worth living.
After several previous experiences, I admit I was somewhat apprehensive about an author reading his own work. However, Gainman does an excellent job narrating this novel and bringing the story to life.

348 of 374 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Randy
  • 2008-03-25

What a Trip!

I really enjoyed this book. As a matter of fact, the minute I finished, I started it over and listened to it again, just in case I missed anything the first time through. I got totally caught up in the fantasy world that was very credible. I think it is the hallmark of excellent fantasy to pull the reader into a willing suspension of disbelief, and Neverwhere certainly did that for me. This story was a vacation into another culture and land without ever leaving my own chair. Thanks for the trip!

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Janice
  • Sugar Land, TX, United States
  • 2012-11-07

Fantasy grunge

The first thing I want to say is that the performance of this book by the author elevates the story to heights that could not have been achieved by reading the text alone. Neil Gaiman is a true actor, creating a world and its inhabitants so vividly, you feel you are walking the Underside with Richard, Door and all the rest. There were a couple of spots early on when the sound effects drowned out the voices, and I was worried that these production problems would kill the enjoyment of the story. It was a temporary problem however, and overall the performance score is an enthusiastic 5.

The story is a strange one - Mr. Gaiman's fans may be prepared for this, but this was my first of his titles. It's almost like a grungy underground Wizard of Oz meets Lord of the Rings. Because it is so grungy - really, the atmosphere and characters are very dark, dirty, dangerous and cynical - I found myself wishing for at least a touch of the magic of those other two classics (is there a Good Witch in the house?). Richard was a mostly engaging hero, but did seem kind of slow to catch on that it was not only useless, but probably not smart to argue with the Underside creatures about what their world is all about. (You're not in Kansas anymore). This stole away one star (honestly, more like just half a star) from the story quality, and may not even be a problem to many other readers. I did enjoy the journey - had some of it figured out in advance, not all of it. I'm encouraged to try other titles from this author, especially if he reads his own words.

121 of 131 people found this review helpful

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  • Chance
  • 2013-04-05

Dig in and be spellbound

One of the best Neil Gaiman pieces out there , it is the usual mix of the bizarre , the scary , the heartwrenching and the humor that will make this into a go to book for you forever. Both the audiobook and the movie adaptation are wonderful . Go ahead , buy this book !

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bailee Collins
  • Charlotte
  • 2007-11-09

Fantastic!

I've never written a review before, but I had to for this book. I wanted it to last because I was so wrapped up in Richard's journey, but I just couldn't stop listening. I was terribly sad when the book finally ended. Enjoy!

74 of 82 people found this review helpful

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  • cindy
  • ramona, CA, United States
  • 2010-02-28

Dont miss this. It is Brilliant.

You can tell that the narrator/author has a true affinity for each of the characters he created in this luminous and dark story.....you feel each of the characters in every syllable he speaks for them. The writing is imaginative, clever, funny, suspenseful and in the end, you truly feel like you've been somewhere you never even imagined you could go....which to me, is the hallmark of a phenomenal book. Fabulous.

53 of 59 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jim
  • Sioux Falls, SD, USA
  • 2008-07-23

Wonderful

I had read both Anansi Boys and American Gods so I was looking forward to another slightly offbeat yet thoroughly entertaining book and I was rewarded beyond my expectations. Neil Gaiman is not only a wonderful writer, but a narrator to rival the best. His voicing made his characters come alive in my heart and mind. I was left wanting to see more of the wonderful world he created and to hear more of the adventures of poor Richard who was just discovering who he was.

53 of 59 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • LopsyBun
  • 2018-07-11

Not a fan, just kind of bland

Struggled to make it even halfway into the book. There wasn't anything particularly terrible about it, but after 3 hours I still didn't know what the problem was, who the main characters were, or really understand the setting. It is also confusing in terms of when the book takes place. It seems present day but the descriptions and characters are rather old school, making the timing very confusing.

I think that books with more direction are more enjoyable. I don't like feeling lost as to what is going on. I typically listen during my commute, so even though I am doing something else, I have never struggled to follow a book before. This just was a little too much of a stretch.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Bookworm
  • 2019-03-03

Seldom truly deep

Only the suspense keeps one reading. Fundamentally a novel of becoming a man. One more, in a landscape of yet another fairy tales, dungeons and other clichés. For teenagers probably.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Keloi29
  • 2019-02-09

Pfff ... Quel ennui

Premier chapitre , dubitative. Ensuite ennui total. J'abandonne au chapitre 4. Où va cette histoire ?