Who wrote this book and when?
Neil Gaiman wrote it into book form in 1996.
Has there been a film version?
It actually started out as an ill-fated television series in Britain, but is now a novel, a comic book, a stage show, and the feature length film rights are owned by the Jim Henson company.
Who are the important characters?
Richard Mayhew – a man who lives and works in London
Door – part of a noble family from London Below, she’s on the run
Mr. Croup – part of a pair of assassins, he resembles a fox and seems to be the smarter of the two
Mr. Vandemar – the other half of the Mssrs assassins, he resembles a wolf and is the muscle, he loves nothing more than killing unless it’s torturing first
The Marquis de Carabas – an arrogant, selfish but resourceful scoundrel…think of Han Solo but with noble blood
Hunter – an enormously famous warrior in London Below, she’s nearly legendary and possesses feline qualities
The Angel Islington – a real angel who lives in London Below
What’s it about?
When Richard Mayhew helps a wounded girl who appears out of nowhere on the London streets, he gets much more than he bargains for. It turns out she is the noble Lady Door from London Below and simply by helping her, Richard finds himself dragged into her world. They, along with several odd characters, are attempting to find the Angel Islington and stay ahead of the pair of assassins after Door – Mr. Vandemar and Mr. Croup, as well as their nebulous boss.
Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
It’s by Neil Gaiman, who is an astoundingly good fantasy author.
Do I recommend you read this book?
Yes, most highly.
How did this book make my list?
Has it won any awards?
“The open kettle was boiling fiercely. Richard watched the bubbling water, and the thick steam, and wondered what they were going to do with it. His imagination was able to provide any number of answers, most of which would have been unimaginably painful, none of which turned out to be correct.” – p 238
Gaiman has said a sequel to this book is half-written, but he hasn’t had time to finish it.
My husband has built Neil Gaiman up so much as an author, I think I was expecting to literally fall out of my chair laughing or bawling, alternating, while reading this book. I’ve heard part of “Stardust” and seen the movie, both of which I’ve enjoyed, but this is my first foray fully into a Gaiman creation. I was a little disappointed.
Granted, my husband, was quick to fill me in, this was Gaiman’s first novel. And it was originally a television show which was turned into a book – never a good start for a book no matter how gifted the author. But I’m still going to have to claim that when someone has built Gaiman up as much as certain individuals in my life have, there is no earthly way the man is going to meet my expectations.
This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy this book. I liked the characters and the plot, and I thought it was really well-developed as a universe. Sometimes I felt I was being strung along a bit, like the author was wandering in his determination, but it always fit in a little bit later…even if it seemed unnecessary. Overall, I’m ready to read another Gaiman novel over this month sometime – secure in the knowledge it will be good…even if I remain in my chair.