There are in this world good books, and there are bad books, but especially, there are mediocre books, novels that briefly entertain and which are then discarded by the reader and quickly forgotten. Nothing right or wrong with them, just disposable products — mind-candy, as some have put it.
And sometimes that is what a reader wants: a distraction, light entertainment to wyle away a couple of hours on a train or bus, when sleep is not to be had but one doesn't have the energy to imbibe something of substance.
If I were a more high-fallutin' reader, I suppose I would disdain mere "reads", but I admit it: I sometimes like to simply distract myself with words and story. What rankles, is when mediocrity is trumpeted as greatness, when light entertainment is likened to Art.
Which brings us to one of Neil Gaiman's first solo novel, one whose blurbs liken it variously to the works of George Lucas, Monty Python, John Milton(!), Douglas Adam, Doctor Who and, most eggregiously, Lewis Carrol's Alice In Wonderland. Does Neverwhere deserve such sometimes lofty comparisons? Read more ...