Book Spotlight: Neil Gaiman’s ‘Neverwhere’ Illustrated Edition With Chris Riddell
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Illustrated Edition – Hardcover
By Neil Gaiman
Illustrations by Chris Riddell
Publisher: William Morrow
Release date: September 26, 2017

You know how Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a fascinating read all on its own, but yet is elevated to another level when read with the accompanying illustrations by Sir John Tenniel? That’s the feeling you’ll get when you pick up the new edition of Neil Gaiman‘s novel Neverwhere, now rereleased in the United States with illustrations by Chris Riddell.

First released in 1996 as a novelization of Gaiman’s original script for the Neverwhere miniseries on BBC, the novel follows Richard Mayhew, an average man living a humdrum life in London led around by his controlling fiancee when his world is turned upside down after he rescues a mysterious young girl named Door. After his good deed renders him invisible and unable to go back to his normal life, Richard must find Door in London Below, a dark bizarre hidden underworld populated by angels, monsters, assassins, supernatural beings, and more.

This illustrated hardcover edition of Neverwhere, which came out in the UK last year, includes tons of amazingly beautiful black-and-white conté pastel pencil line art from Riddell, who brings the characters of Gaiman’s urban fantasy to life in full pages: the downtrodden Richard Mayhew; the fox-like Croup and wolf-like Vandemar, the assassin duo; the underground rat people; the Black Friars; the dangerous Lady Serpentine, and much more. Along with the characters and locations, Riddell — who previously illustrated Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book (2008) and The Sleeper and the Spindle (2013) — enhances the pages with decorative shading, borders, and accents, peppering little details throughout.

At 436 pages, this edition contains the Author’s Preferred Text, which Gaiman put together from various drafts to reconcile the American and British versions of the book; he also cut some parts, while adding about 12,000 words. Apparently, for the original U.S. edition, the author was pressured to cut a lot of the story’s British humor (his U.S. editor felt that Americans wouldn’t get the jokes). But thankfully now British humor – humour – has been restored! There was also a second prologue that was cut for the U.S. edition that introduced the pair of assassins, but that is now included as back matter for completion’s sake (and I do appreciate that!). Also perfect for the completist is the addition of the short story “How the Marquis Got His Coat Back,” which is set in the Neverwhere universe and was previously available as part of a multi-author anthology.

Aside from Neverwhere just simply being a fantastic story penned by one of the greatest writers of our time, the revised text and other literary extras now accompanied by Riddell’s incredible artwork make this new illustrated edition a great selection for all readers. Whether you’re completing your Gaiman library collection, love illustrated novels, or are a first-time reader of the tale, the Neverwhere Illustrated Edition is the perfect version to acquire.

Selected as one of NPR’S Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of All Time

The #1 New York Times bestselling author’s dark classic of modern fantasy, beautifully illustrated for the first time by award-winning artist Chris Riddell, and featuring the author’s preferred text and his Neverwhere tale, “How the Marquis Got His Coat Back.”

Published in 1997, Neil Gaiman’s first novel, Neverwhere, heralded the arrival of a major talent. Over the years, various versions have been produced around the world. In 2016, this gorgeously illustrated edition of the novel was released in the UK. It is now available here, and features strikingly atmospheric, painstakingly detailed black-and-white line art by Chris Riddell, one of Gaiman’s favorite artistic interpreters of his work.

Richard Mayhew is a young London businessman with a good heart whose life is changed forever when he stops to help a bleeding girl””an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed. Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in Neverwhere””a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Here in Neverwhere, Door is a powerful noblewoman who has vowed to find the evil agent of her family’s slaughter and thwart the destruction of this strange underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life and home, he must join Lady Door’s quest to save her world””and may well die trying.

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