Book Club: When one door closes, she’ll just open another

If you could open any door, which would you open and why?

That is a question I asked myself more than once while reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, September’s read for the Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club That Needs a Name.

I have been a fan of Neil Gaiman for a very long time, yet I hadn’t read Neverwhere before now. I finished it at 5 am while on night shift, so that may have construed my thoughts on the book itself, but I enjoyed it. I’d be curious to see the BBC series that inspired it.

So in this story, we have the world of London Above, our world as we know it; and London Below, a world full of magic, evil angels, pseudo-vampires, and rat-speakers… so the usual fare in a Gaiman story.

What happens when a guy from London Above winds up in London Below? Well his life Above is pretty much over – no one remembers Richard, or even sees him until he’s right in their face… reminded me of the perception filter in Doctor Who. So he has to go back to London Below to try and get his old life back and gets sucked into the never-ending weirdness of that world.

So I asked myself, as did others, if you could wander around unoticed, with a gal named Door that could open any door anywhere, why are you bumming around the sewers? Why aren’t you waltzing into a bank, or a fancy hotel, or Buckingham Palace? Why does anyone in London Below stay below?

Wouldn’t be much of a story, I suppose.

I did love the characters of Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar – though they were ruthless killers, their dialogue was brilliant and you never had to wonder about their motives… they just like it.

Half of us in attendance for the September meeting finished the book, while the rest got pretty close to finishing. You know what that means….

October’s book is Space Opera by Catherynne M Valente; it has a shiny cover so it’s gotta be fab, right?


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