Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Culture Corner: Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

I write...I've written a lot in the last year, but haven't taken the time to read a whole lot. I enjoy reading, but the problem is if I'm not in the mood TO read, it will put me to sleep faster than you can say "Passamaquoddy" (And if you don't know where I pulled "Passamaquoddy" out of my ass, well...I guess you've never seen an invisible dragon either!). Mind you, I can't drive long distances either as it puts me to sleep too.

I love books of all sorts, biographies, romance novels, horror, sci-fi. I can't say I'm fixated on one specific topic or genre (sorry JT!). I can tell you one of my favorite books ever is called "Neverwhere" by an author named Neil Gaiman. I've read that book cover to cover more times than I can count.

There's something about the way Mr. Gaiman tells a story that (for me) makes it completely immersible. I can see everything about the characters. The way they look, talk, walk, dress...what the characters breath smells like. (Ironically enough, Mr. Gaiman also wrote another book back in the 80's, a biography on none other than Duran Duran. Although I didn't know that little factoid until recently when Neil happened to mention it on Twitter.).

Neil Gaiman also does 'graphic novels'. They're not comic books but actual novels drawn out in comic book form. They're hugely popular and more than one television show and movie have been made from graphic novels in the past. (Walking Dead is a hugely popular one, albeit NOT by Mr. Gaiman).

Neverwhere is a story about Richard Mayhew who lives in London and leads an average life, which he finds dull and dreary. Until one day he crosses paths with a girl by the name of Door. No one can see her, or if by chance they do see her they see a homeless waif and nothing more. Door lives in "London Below" which is a vast city under the streets of London in amongst the tunnels, labyrinths and abandon subway tube stations of London. It's a very interesting adventure he has helping this poor woman who has crossed his path. He helps her find out what happened to her family and along the way Richard finds himself.

My husband found (much to my thrill and surprise) that Neverwhere had been made into a mini series for the BBC and ordered and purchased the DVD for me. He gave it to me out of the blue one day and I about freaked out. It's a great series, if you get the opportunity to watch it. Do. It's one of my favourites and stays fairly true to the book. It's a little BBC/Dr.Who campy but it gets the general idea of the story across. There's been talk about making an actual movie (to theater) of the book, I would be elated if they do.

I'm not sure what it is about this book that speaks to me the way it does. To be honest, the day I bought the book I had never heard of Neil Gaiman but the cover intrigued me. So I bought it. I'm thrilled that I did.

One Last Glimpse,


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