Book Review: Neverwhere-Neil Gaiman

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When I turned the last page on this magnetic book, I contemplated how I would write a review on a story whose web continues to be spun deeper. As one of my first Neil Gaiman novels, I was completely blown away by the craftiness of his “Alice and Wonderland” meets “Labyrinth”-esque novel. Gaiman created a dark underworld with animal- like humans and a magic that is anything but ethereal. 

It all begins with a mundane life inhabited by Richard Mayhew. Richard peruses through the humdrum of his life, which includes a decent job, a decent apartment, and a fiance. It isn’t until he sees a bleeding girl on the street of London, that his whole world turns upside down. The young girl, Door, introduces Richard to the underworld of London called London Below. It is in this dark world where Richard meets interesting characters, and his own strength is tested-both mentally and physically. Richard slips into the cracks of the unknown, a place where time and space drips chillingly down the walls. Door has the ability to open and unlock doors in practically any location. She, like the slew of charming characters reside in the underground of London. Richard accompanies Door on a adventure to solve the mystery of the murder of her family. Along the way, friends and enemies are made, and a literal and figurative beast makes an appearance.

It is without a doubt that Neverwhere will leave you constantly turning pages, and wondering what happens next. It is a mystery wrapped in fantasy shrouded with darkness. I admire Gaiman for writing such a fantastic novel,and I enjoyed it through and through. The characters are developed well and en capture the essence of the underground. The ending was slightly disappointing, however I am pleased with the overall outcome of the book. I would recommended this novel to anyone interested in twisted fantasies. Gaiman knows how to capture an audience and hold them in place. I am eager to read more Neil Gaiman novels to see if they match with Neverwhere. Although I have heard Neverwhere isn’t Gaiman’s best book, it exceeded my expectations (which are quite high), and I would definately save this book for a future second read!

What Neil Gaiman books are your favourite?

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The Transformative Power of Books

Set and Setting

Have you ever completed a novel, and think to yourself how your whole world has been blown to bits by the mere words on the page? Do you love recommending books to you friends in hopes that they too will fawn over the same narration as you? Books, words contain a certain magic and power that has the ability to change perception and opinion.

Books take you into another world, allowing you to escape from reality a bit. You take on the lives of the characters and embrace their fears, desires, and thoughts. For just a moment, you are not you.Words that are written on the page have the power to strike you as comforting, offensive, or intriguing. Books are filled with wisdom and peace. I can remember falling in love with books at a young age, when often I felt isolated or alone. I remember my mother taking me to the library; I would find a corner and bury my nose in the newest Judy Bloom novel. I remember when I could finally drive, I would spend all of my free time at the local Barnes and Noble. Books are a necessity in this world.

They are often the voice for things that go unsaid. In a world where technology and digitization governs our life, books are the reminder that life does in fact exists. It is the heartbeat inside of us all. Reading is political, life-changing, sensuous, intellectual, persuasive, magical, and the gate to new ideas. I firmly believe that books have the ability to change the world. Wherever you are, cherish the moments you have when reading. Books allow you to discover who you are, unlocking your hidden wishes and dreams.

Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email, a world of written information. We need to read and write, we need global citizens who can read comfortably, comprehend what they are reading, understand nuance, and make themselves understood.-Neil Gaiman

We owe it to ourselves to keep the precious gem that is reading alive. To encourage friends and family to pick up a book, to turn pages, to dive nose first into a novel. We make the world a little better just by consuming books. Always feast your eyes on books, and don’t ever stop reading.

Book Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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It’s been a long time coming for reading this book. I have always heard such great things about Coelho’s wisdom induced novel, so it was a pleasure being able to read this. The Alchemist opens up with a shepherd boy named Santiago who lives in the Andalusian mountains. He goes on a quest to pursue hidden treasure among the Pyramids of Egypt. Following the advice of a mysterious king who urges him to follow his heart, saying, “‘The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world,” Santiago sets out on a journey to seek the inner desires of his heart. Along the way he meets many characters who help him discover that the universe helps to achieve a man’s dream. Santiago comes across thieves, the love of his life, Fatima, an educated Englishman, and a crafty yet wise Alchemist. His journey doesn’t come without tribulations and challenges. It is through faith, hard work, and trust in his dream that he is able to find the meaning of happiness. The Alchemist helps Santiago open up to the voice of the universe and to let his heart take control of his journey. Through the eyes of a young shepherd boy, we learn that “…wherever your heart is. there you will find your treasure. You’ve got to find the treasure, so that everything you have learned along the can make sense.”

Without a doubt, The Alchemist has resonated deep with me. It is packed with insightful quips of wisdom, and truly a perfect read for those that are seeking a personal treasure in life. Paulo Coelho creates a novel that is simple yet contains subtle twists, leaving the reader wondering about the fate of Santiago. Although the novel repeats the underlying message (follow your heart’s desire) a lot, it presents the wisdom in an enchanting way that captivates an audience from the first page. I found this novel very applicable to where I am in my life, so I enjoyed it thoroughly! I would recommended this book, absolutely. It was a fairly quick read and very easy. Definitely a new favourite on my bookshelf. Have any of you read this novel? If so, what are your thoughts?

Happy Reading!