Neverwhere Audio Experience

Thoughts   Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Harper Audio Unabridged 2007 (orig pub’d 1996), 12 1/2 hours on 10 CDs

Genre:   Fantasy
Challenge:  RIP v
Setting:   London, above and below

“Gaiman is, simply put, a treasure-house of story, and we are lucky to have him.”    – Stephen King

I’m going to stray from my typical review template and just ramble.

I bought the audio because I had that 33% coupon from Borders AND a 10% off above and beyond coupon and thought an audio would be the best deal since I’m usually a bit hesitant to spend the higher prices for audios even though I understand that the costs to produce might be more (plus supply and demand and other such economic considerations?) and this was the only choice in the store that I wanted to ‘read’.

Neverwhere is well-loved so I had already had it on my to-be-read list.  The fact that the author was the voice AND was highly recommended as a terrific voice, I knew that would not be disappointing.

I was not disappointed.   I loved it.

I do think the time to load all the disks onto my Mac and then transferring all to my iPad was a bit disappointing.    I was also disappointed that when one disk concluded and sometimes within chapters on the same disk, it would jump to who-knows-where.   Yes, I was very disappointed by this and wonder if it is something I do wrong in setting it up but I haven’t figured that out yet.    Seriously?   Often I would be listening and not even aware what chapter I was on when it would jump to disk 10 and then I would have to HUNT which chapter was supposed to be next.

But the experience of listening – when in the correct order – was wonderful!   Gaiman is an excellent reader/voice for audio!   He does accents well.   It was very easy to know which character was talking.

I carried my iPad around everywhere.   Everywhere.   Upstairs, downstairs, out to get the mail…    and when I found earpieces to listen privately so it wouldn’t bug my husband, I was able to listen in the car when hub drove!    Yippee!

However, before earpieces (they have a name but my brain won’t retrieve it;   earBUDS?) I was sad that the volume on the iPad was not sufficiently loud enough to listen while driving.   Big bummer.   I realize I could spend another $50+ to get some kind of device that will plug into my car and allow the car’s stereo system to blast it, but I hate to spend money on such stuff.

The story of Neverwhere is fun and enthralling.    I was rooting for Richard Mayhew from the get-go.    Of course, I realized he was going to be just fine.  I’m pretty sure it was the standard story of ‘regular nice guy gets himself thrust into an adventure of magic and other worlds and REAL DANGER and only wants his boring life back and when he gets it, wishes for the exciting crazy life of adventure again’ etc and then some, but it was still very fun.

Someone somewhere said that a good book is enhanced by a terrific narrator and I agree.    Now that I’m days away from listening, I can’t recall all that much of why I liked it so much – thus the 4 pie slice rating – but I would definitely sign up to listen to Gaiman read me another book any day.

I  just need to get better at the technology of listening to an audio book so the experience wasn’t so disruptive.

MORE AUDIO REVIEWS:   OK, I just typed that and went to Fyrefly’s book blog search, entered ‘Neverwhere Audio’ and didn’t get any specific reviews of this particular book.  I found a lot of Graveyard Book and one for Neverwhere and Beyond – which is news to me that there is a sequel, so I’ll just invite anyone to comment with links if they reviewed it.     For a terrific review of the actual book, click this link to Nymeth’s from 2007 which I’m sure was the catalyst for me to figure out who and what this Neil Gaiman dude was all about…

And then when I found out that this is a mini-series?     AND available on Netflix instant-play!?!   Just might watch it tonight…  🙂


Copyright © 2010. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

16 thoughts on “Neverwhere Audio Experience

  1. It sounds like some of your disks aren’t formatted right. I had that happen on one audio book I listened to and my hubby just went in and renamed some of the tracks and that resolved everything. I’m glad you enjoyed the book!

    1. Kathy, I’m sure there was a way to organize it all correctly but once the story began, I just wanted to continue and not ‘research the technology’. I did enjoy the book. I’m going to look for Anansi Boys next.

  2. Glad it was good, even when the audio was weird.

    When I put audiobooks on my iPod, I had to make sure they were loaded as audiobooks rather than just as music. That way, they played in order. E-mail me and I can try to find the site where I figured out how to do that. I’m not sure if it’s the same as the iPad though.

    1. Thanks! I didn’t even try looking for a fix. But yes, the whole ‘music’ vs book in iTunes is confusing. When I loaded the disks, it search for the correct ‘label’ and they seemed to have 3 different kinds. Whatever. I tried to pay attn which seemed to defeat the purpose of ‘doing other things while listening’. I spent the last third of the book watching the time progression of each chapter!

  3. I’m glad to know Gaiman is a good reader of his own stuff. In my experience, authors can be really good or really bad–there’s little in between.

    1. Jeanne, Gaiman is GOOD. Very good. awesome good. I just started a new audio book and ran to the computer to find some scoop on the narrator but then just started listening; so far OK – the book however… It’s Frankenstein, voiced by Jim Weiss. I guess I don’t know the story of Frankenstein official but it dang better hurry up! What’s all this boat to the north pole stuff?!?!

  4. This is totally my favorite Neil Gaiman book. Oh my God, I love it so much. The miniseries actually came first, you know, and then he wrote the book because there were aspects of the completed miniseries that didn’t satisfy him. But still, overall, the miniseries is pretty damn good. The guy who plays the Marquis de Carabas is perfect in every way, and ditto the guys who play Croup and Vandemar.

    …I’ve kind of made myself want to watch it now. :p

    1. Jenny, I just watched the first episode of Neverwhere from instant-netflix (couldn’t seem to get the whole season?) and it was good! Altho, Mr. Vandemar was better looking than I would have expected. (eek!) and yes, I was impressed with the casting for the Marquis. I thought the guy playing Richard-Richard-Mayhew-Dick was perfect, too.

  5. I’m listening to Fragile Things right now, read by him, and he is an AMAZING reader. Rarely am I this envious of another person’s talents. I loved Neverwhere and the miniseries is bizarre, kooky, but still really fun if you get into the low-production value of it. I actually enjoyed it even though it’s a little BBC-Bizarre.

    A note about the chapter skipping — mine did that too, and I’m not sure what I did, but apparently I fixed it. It had something to do with the shuffle. ?? Not much help, but maybe something to go on.

    I found it best to do something completely mindless, like packing boxes or washing dishes. I imagine yard work or something else like that would be good too.

    1. Daphne, I know I need to do better abt learning this device. I haven’t figured out how the Shuffle goes on/off.

      I’m about to load another audio book and will attempt to figure it out properly.

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