The 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time
October 15, 2020 7:54 AM EDT

In a twist on the customary order of business, Neil Gaiman adapted his first solo novel from his screenplay for a TV miniseries, rather than the other way round. But the quality of Neverwhere doesn’t suffer for its origins. The darkly comical story follows Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman who is ripped from his perfectly average life after he stops to help an injured girl on the sidewalk. Upon realizing that he’s become unrecognizable to everyone he knows in the wake of the girl’s departure, Richard finds his way to London Below, a mysterious netherworld composed of a mass of railway stations and populated by monsters, assassins and angels alike. There, in the menacing and magical city that exists underneath his own, Richard must track down the girl and help her solve the mystery of her family’s murder in order to find a way home—a quest that ultimately leads him to self-discovery. Often seen as an allegory for urban homelessness, Neverwhere shines a light on the plight of those who “fall through the cracks” of society. —Megan McCluskey

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