It has begun! We started off with an easy section, the prologue, which is just a couple of pages long. Below are my thoughts on this section, some discussion questions for you to respond to, and a reminder about the next section & photo challenge.
Today’s featured photos are by @thedarkestpartsofsnow & @book_inspired both very different styles but totally gorgeous! I loved seeing everyone’s photos, you made it VERY hard to choose just two, and it was great to see so many different editions! We have readers from all over the world, reading on every format – US, UK, paperback, hardcover, audiobook and ebook – this is a wonderful example of how diverse this global community is, and how we can all share our love of reading.
Week 1 – The Prologue
– Richard Mahew (protagonist)
“Inside the pub, Richard’s friends continued to celebrate his forthcoming departure, with an enthusiasm that, to Richard’s way of thinking, was beginning to border on the sinister.”
Reading the first sentence was like stepping through a gateway. I was immediately drawn into Gaiman’s intriguing style, which keeps you playing catch-up with the characters from the very first word. I was also reminded of how little I remember of the plot – virtually nothing – so the excitement is rising to experience this in the same way as those of you who are reading it for the first time. It struck me that in 4 pages Gaiman was able to capture a strong sense of British-ness, highlighted beautifully by the sentence “Richard, you wanker, it’s your bloody party and you’re missing all the fun”, which in my head was shouted in a drunken slur by a voice that sounded exactly like a previous (English) boss of mine, and caused me great amusement. There might not be much content in the few pages that the prologue occupies, but there is a lot of foreshadowing of future events, so keep an eye out for them!
1. What are your first impressions of Neverwhere?
2. What was your favourite quote?
3. Richard says that he felt “the sense that he was leaving somewhere small and sensible that made sense for somewhere huge and old that didn’t”, have you ever felt similar to this- teetering on the edge of a big life change, looking forward with trepidation and back with nostalgia? Do you feel like Gaiman captured how Richard might be feeling well or did this miss the mark for you?
*Note* I am reading the Author’s preferred edition (2015), some quotes may differ from previous UK and US editions. Feel free to discuss these differences in the comments, Gaiman himself has mentioned that the revised edition is essentially ‘the US edition with the jokes from the UK edition put back in’ to paraphrase, so I am really interested to see how the experience of reading the different editions differs. If you remember, try to note in your comment which edition you are reading.
Next: Week 2 – Chapters 1 – 5
Discussion date: 9th October
Photo Challenge: #mappedbooks – In the prologue Richard receives an umbrella with a map of the London underground on it. Maps are important throughout the novel for what they show or don’t show, and let’s be honest, a fantasy (or urban fanstasy like Neverwhere) isn’t complete without a map of some kind!
Remember to use the tag #BabblingBooksRA on your photos, and feel free to tag me @babblingbooks in your captions. I’ll be reviewing the tag throughout the week and choosing my favourites to be featured next Thursday.