Monday, September 28, 2009

Read: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Synopsis: Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinarylife, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.
"There's London Above - that's where you lived - and then there's London Below - the Underside - inhabited by the people who fell through the cracks in the world. Now you're one of them."
Oh, Neil Gaiman has been quite quite clever with Neverwhere, his first full-length novel. He's created this dark world located underneath London - a surreal place where the names of Tube stations like Earls Court and Knightsbridge take on a completely different meaning. It is a clever little idea that is. I was also quite entertained by hired henchmen Croup and Vandemar, whose offerings include: "Obstacles obliterated, nuisances eradicated, bothersome limbs removed and tutelary dentistry".

It was a fun plot, easy to read and overall very satisfactory. It was like going out to In-N-Out and having a simple meal of a double-double and fries. It's not an exquisite mind-blowing delight for the palate, but it'll do to satisfy the hunger pangs. A good meal that I can count on to always be tasty.

I'm not quite sure why I've gone with the food metaphor today. Perhaps because I've just had some laksa (from a Prima box) and it's made me think about the food that I used to take for granted, like laksa. It's a completely satisfying meal when I'm in Singapore, but out here, where one has to go all the way down south for a Singaporean/Malaysian meal that doesn't quite hit the spot (something always missing), it's become a luxury. And perhaps it's because I'm starting on the first few pages of Anne Michaels' The Winter Vault which has such poetic writing but some sentences require thorough rereading. And right now, I'm not sure if that's the kind of meal that will satisfy me. But Neverwhere, that was quite a delicious read.

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