"Mr. Vandemar's voice was a night wind blowing over a desert of bones."
What am I to say about this fascinating book? What stood out to me? The fact that the book was a non-stop, action-filled, page turner goes without saying. The cast of characters is brilliant. Door maintained her aura of mystical powers, as well as her righteous anger at her families massacre. Hunter--poor, poor Hunter--was the betrayer, unexpected, and her demise was terrible. It left me wanting to know so much more of her past exploits to better understand her desire to slay the Beast. The marquis de Carabas died and came back through machinations I didn't entirely understand to fulfill a favor and take on another. Wow. Islington being a horrible monster was also a surprise.
But what of Richard? Did his life change? Did he grow and develop? Yes, through the Ordeal, and then again at the slaying of the Beast. He saw what his life was and how meaningless it was. Gaiman kept me confused and intrigued, wondering if perhaps Richard really was cracked in the head and London Below was simply imaginary. I honestly did not know, and I suppose if I thought hard enough I could argue either way. Perhaps he really is a loon and has made it all up, but I don't think so. And after leaving London Below he could no longer live with himself and his dull and unexciting life.
This part reminds me a lot of a person that plugs in and does missions/humanitarian aid in our world. Often the people that do this literally have life changing experiences and it's hard for them to return to their normal life unchanged. This mindset is exactly how I imagined Richard's.
I very much enjoyed Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. It was thought-provoking and entertaining. Gaiman kept me in the dark through much of the novel (and in parts after), and I'm once again glad that such a writer exists. Thanks, Mr. Gaiman, for giving us the tale. And thanks Carl for finally giving me the nudge to pick the book up off my shelf and dive in.