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Neverwhere | Neil Gaiman | BBC Radio 4 | Dramatised Audio Book | Reviewed by Anjali


A few weeks ago, while I was doing a mindless task at work, listening to my iPod, it dawned on me that I could be ‘reading’ while I was working. Of course, I don’t mean reading reading, but listening to audio books. While scrolling through some of the options on the Audible website, I came across Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman. It was one of the BBC Radio 4’s dramatisation series, and it was a book that I have been meaning to read.

One of the main things that caught my eye when picking this book to add to my ever growing audio-book collection was the cast. The main character, Richard, is voiced by James McAvoy, and the other characters are voiced by Natalie Dormer, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anthony Head, and Christopher Lee, to name just a few. All those awesome people (and more!) in one radio series? Ah, yes please! It was so much fun, listening to these actor’s without seeing their faces. I know that sounds weird, but it’s amazing how you can recognise someone (even without knowing it’s them) without seeing their faces. Voices like Christopher Lee and, of course, Benedict Cumberbatch are so easily recognised.

Although I didn't know the story (I’m still going to read the book one day), it was so easy to follow along, and though you couldn't see anything, the sound effects were brilliant, and such that the scenes were easily brought to life in the mind’s eye. Because it was an adaptation, I’m not sure if all the book and it’s events/scenes were in the radio series (I’m assuming not), so it’ll be interesting to read Neverwhere and compare the two.

It was a great way to a) pass the time at work while doing jobs that don’t use any brain power, and b) be ‘reading’ while working. I don’t think that these dramatized versions of books will count towards my Good Reads goal in the year, but I think if I listened to a book that was simply being read, word for word (as opposed to actors being the characters, and it being an adaptation of a book), then I think that that would count. I wonder if there are Good Reads Challenge rules…

Anyway! If you’re not into audio books, but want to get into them (they’d be great for commuting to work in the car, or on the bus, or train etc), then I suggest starting with a dramatised version. It’s a bit more exciting that just one person reading the book aloud. Neverwhere was only 3 hours and 48 minutes long, but that included about half an hour of extra features at the end (bloopers and alternative scenes). Because this one was a radio series, it’s broken up into 6 parts. The first is an hour long, the rest are half hours. Definitely have a listen!


This review was written by regular reviewer Anjali, get to know her here
Image from here. 

2 comments

  1. Sounds like a great idea! With such a fine cast of actors, and the wonderful words of Neil Gaiman, what could possibly go wrong?

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    Replies
    1. That's exactly what I thought! Haha it was really great to listen to :)

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