I re-read Neverwhere, after chatting to Luke, who was reading it for the first time. I love this book quite madly, probably due to the combination of loving Neil Gaiman and loving London madly as well.
I love the way the hugely different worlds of London Above and London Below overlap, yet don’t quite merge, at stations of the London Underground. The Gap is a ravenous predatorial pouncing fog if you’re from London Below, as opposed to the minor hazard we’re told to Mind by a disembodied voice that’s become background noise to most of us. If you get off at British Museum (long-closed to London Above), ads for moustache wax and two shilling seaside holidays are still plastered on the walls.
There’s something about London, and the London Neil Gaiman presents in Neverwhere, that makes it almost easy to believe that in London Below there are black friars at Blackfriars, an actual angel in Islington, shepherds in Shepherd’s Bush who you should hope you never have to meet, Coke and chocolates from platform vending machines are served if you are a guest at Earl’s Court, and you have to get to the floating market at Harrod’s (the previous one was in Big Ben – it floats from place to place) by crossing Night’s Bridge.