Neverwhere Groupread, The Conclusion

I’m late posting this because I’ve been at BEA all week.  Many thanks to Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings for hosting this groupread!  I’d heard many good things about Neverwhere before reading it, but never expected to be introduced to such a creepy/whimsical/wonderful new world!

Rather than following specific questions this week, we decided to just post our thoughts on the ending of the book.  For those of you who haven’t been reading along, this means major plot SPOILERS.  I’ll post a spoiler-free review in the near future for anyone who hasn’t read the book and doesn’t want to ruin the fun.

So, without further ado…

One of the most fascinating characters to me throughout the entire story has been Hunter.  She reminds me a bit of a female comic book character.  Based on her appearance earlier in the story, Richard mistakes her for a prostitute, but at the same time she saves his life over and over again.  I didn’t expect Hunter to betray Door, but at the same time I didn’t think that it was out of character for her at all.  Hunter has one major goal throughout the book, and that is to kill the Beast.  Betraying Door brought her one step closer to doing so.  Hunter highlights the grey area between good and evil, and must face the consequences of her decisions, putting herself into a position where she is unable to kill the Beast herself.  Hunter’s betrayal shows the complexity of human nature because even though she sold out her friends, she still wasn’t necessarily an evil person.

The Marquis was one of those characters that I kept thinking was the bad guy, but then it turns out that he wasn’t.  Meanwhile, Islington was a frickin’ angel!  I had thought that he’d be trustworthy.  One of the morals of this story is that appearances can be deceiving.

I’m impressed by the way that Richard grows up towards the end of the novel, but I did kind of want to slap him and turn him around because I already knew that there was no way that he could just return to his old life after developing a sense of imagination and coming into himself.  I was just like “No, Richard!  Don’t do it!”  I was so glad that he was able to return to London Below, and I’m glad that he didn’t get back together with Jessica.  I was pleased with the ending; it just felt right.

14 thoughts on “Neverwhere Groupread, The Conclusion

  1. I love your observation that this book is about appearances because that is just spot on in every sense. Nothing is as it seems. Funnily enough I loved the Marquis, I had a moment of dismay when I thought he really might be about to do something bad, but then I was all like ‘phew, that was close’.
    Hunter – don’t ask me why, and don’t beat me over the head with a heavy object, but I always kind of pictured her as the character played by Grace Jones in the Conan film – except that Hunter came across as probably a bit tougher.
    Looking forward to your BEA post!
    Lynn 😀

    1. I didn’t trust the Marquis at first, mostly because he seemed like such a shady character. I loved how none of the characters was exactly like we pictured them at first glance and how each ended up being so much more than they first appeared. I was so happy to find out the Marquis was on our side, and I felt awful about his crucifixion.

      BEA was wonderful. I’ve been posting some updates throughout the week, and I’ve got a ginormous box of books coming in the mail to review over the next few months. 😀

      1. It was made for the BBC in the late 80s I think (maybe early 90s). It has quite a low budget, but a great cast. I’m sure you could watch some of it on Youtube x

  2. I read this book as background reading for a university module. I’m usually not into fantasy kind of books but it wasn’t as painful as I expected. I can’t say it really stands out in my memory though but it was a lot better than I expected!

  3. It is interesting about Hunter–something I hadn’t thought about before now. I think it’s her betrayal that makes her unworthy of the beast, with the beast as a kind of metaphor. I’m reminded of The Sword in the Stone. Only s/he who is pure of heart can wield the sword. It makes sense that the reluctant Richard is the one to take up the sword.

    1. Exactly! I liked the fact that her decision had consequences, but at the same time she’s not evil, just a fallible human being. The Sword in the Stone is a great analogy!

  4. I finished this book a while back, but didn’t have the time to participate in the groupread. I enjoyed so much, that I got more books by Gaiman and now I am reading American Gods. I agree that the ending in Neverwhere is very satisfying, plus it holds a promise of more adventures to come, at least for Richard, if not the reader.

    1. I haven’t read American Gods yet, but I definitely need to read more of Gaiman’s books. Neverwhere was fantastic, and I totally agree with you on the ending. It feels like there’s so much more potential for each character in the story to have more adventures, even though we’re done reading this chapter of their lives.

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