Tuesday, April 01, 2008


by Neil Gaiman

I started writing this tale many years ago. The everyman protagonist--I forget his name--slips from a rush hour backup into the mist enshrouded field outside the abode of the master muse. Along with a sarcastic, insulting mouse dressed in a stormtrooper's uniform and a few other characters, they travel through the wondrous inner realms of creation (our reality, in contrast, being out on the very edge of it all) on a quest of great importance. Their trail eventually brings them into the stronghold of the ultimate evil one--the demon held in such fear that the mere utterance of its name can cause reality to tremble. The denizens of the inner realms collapse in terror in the demon's presence... that is until our everyman finds new depths of courage (actually it's more like indignant hysteria) when he discovers that the unspeakable name is transliterated "Bob." Anyway, I never got around to fleshing out and finishing this story. Neil Gaiman, on the other hand, has not only finished it, but has greatly improved it. In his version, the everyman--Richard Mayhew--finds himself drawn down into the dark, mystic realm of London Below. He accompanies the Lady Door, her bodyguard, and the sarcastic marquis de Carabas as they attempt to flee from the killers who decimated the Lady's family. For most of the trip, Richard seems like useless baggage, but eventually he proves to have some use after all. (Though he doesn't inadvertently destroy the evil one's stonghold in a temper tantrum.) It's a dark, but amusing tale, set in a creative re-imagining of London's subway system.

Check it out! I'm glad I did.
LibraryThing link


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