The Once Upon A Time Challenge is still going strong and it is time for the Neverwhere group read I signed on to participate in.
In Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Richard Mayhew’s life is turned upside down after stopping to help a bleeding girl on the sidewalk. He is thrust into a world he never knew existed in the underground tunnels of London where magic and danger thrive.
Below are questions in bold for the group read and my answers follow. The questions do not contain spoilers but my answers could so proceed with caution.
1. What do you think of our two villains thus far, Messrs. Croup and Vandemar?
Standard stock villains with no soul who seem to have no limits, except finding everyone else but who they’re supposed to kill. I mean, why did they waste time on that Varney guy when they could have continued tracking Door on their own?
2. Thus far we've had a small taste of London Below and of the people who inhabit it. What do you think of this world, this space that lies within or somewhat overlaps the space the "real world" occupies?
It makes me think of fandoms and how the internet has enabled people who feel they don’t belong find each other and create their own space to belong to.
3. What ideas or themes are you seeing in these first 5 chapters of Neverwhere? Are there any that you are particularly drawn to?
So far just that people need a place to belong to. That’s all I can think of right now. I’m just not into analyzing it much, as you will see at the end of this post.
4. We've met a number of secondary characters in the novel, who has grabbed your attention and why?
The Hunter. She seems no-nonsense, can take care of herself and I imagined her as Gina Torres and I have a girl crush on her.
5. As you consider the Floating Market, what kind of things does your imagination conjure up? What would you hope to find, or what would you be looking for, at the Market?
It makes me think of flea markets. Not the fancy ones you only see on TV where some interior designer is going “bargain hunting” but the real flea markets where you have to dig through piles of dirty, broken stuff to find lost treasure and hope you don’t need a tetanus shot after. Like some of the places those American Picker guys dig through.
6. If you haven't already answered it in the questions above, what are your overall impressions of the book to this point?
I don’t know. It hasn’t grabbed me yet. I feels similar, like I’ve seen or read it before such as in Anansi Boys and American Gods: Your plain ol’ average Joe being led through some mystical world he knows nothing about.
So far, I’m only reading this book for the group read, not because I want to. I keep counting the pages to see when a chapter ends so I know when I can get back to another book I’m reading. I’m finding I enjoyed reading about what’s going on under London in this book I read earlier this year. I hope this changes soon because I want to enjoy Neverwhere but so far I’m not and that's why my answers are so short and lackadaisical.