Okay, so here's the thing... I discovered the wonderment of Neil Gaiman's writing quite by accident. I came across a video of a commencement speech he gave on creating good art... and I was hooked. As I started talking about this with friends the answer was always the same: "What do you mean you've never read Neal Gaiman?!"
When they started to mention his works, and "Coraline" came up, it occurred to me that I wasn't as in the dark as I had suspected: I'd watched the animated film with my son and thought that it was magical! So, I wasn't the troglodyte I thought about modern literature... but there was more I needed to know about this man. So I began stalking him and his work... okay, not in person (don't have a passport - can't go to Europe), but from a distance, through the Internet.
What I discovered was a vast collection of amazement that I could not have anticipated. I read "The Ocean At The End Of The Lane", after hearing him read a piece of it in an interview I saw on YouTube, and found it quite mesmerizing. I was beginning to understand why everyone was so flabbergasted that I hadn't read his work before. I was completely captivated.
So, I picked up "Neverwhere" (yes, I know it's been out since 1997... so I'm a little slow, sue me). It was an interesting title, and the blurb on the back told me that, again, this was not going to be an average read. And, no, it wasn't - how wonderful!
This genius of a man uses vocabulary in ways that I hadn't realized possible since first reading Poe, Milne, and Bradbury is like cheese fondue... you need more! His imagery jumps off the page and into your brain with such fervor that it lingers there, enticing you to read more... and more... and more. His characters seem so real... and yet... not, somehow. The epitome of writing craft seeps from him in waves of reverberation that only your rib cage can identify, and even then, not completely.
Okay, enough of the superlatives... This is astounding writing! Three dimensional in every aspect. I felt like I knew his characters and still, wished I could have invited them to dinner, just to ask the thousand questions that wouldn't keep still.
Every street they walked, I knew it. Every disgusting sound lived in my ears, and every aroma of the marketplace dug itself into my nose and would not leave until the next arrived. The story kept moving forward, even when Mr. Gaiman slowed it down a little bit... just so I could catch my breath, I'm guessing,
I could rewrite the back matter for you... but I don't think that's enough. You really need to read this book... It's quite extraordinary!
By the way, Drake, who is usually a very particular duck about his reading choices than me, said that his favorite part about this book was the Rats, near-talking, as they were... and even though he thought they were horrifically devious, Drake felt Croup and Vandemar were extremely well crafted... and that creepy Velvet woman was just... feather-ruffling-strange, but tremendously entertaining.
Drake's Review" Five Quacks
Diana Kathryn Plopa
I love being in love; writing; reading; mammals of nearly every kind, and especially micro-humans! Come enjoy my world with me - Secret Decoder Ring not required!!