Teaser Tuesday: Neverwhere

Like a Frisbee flying through the air, the Wheel of Time has come ’round to Teaser Tuesday.

Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

This week I’m reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I’ve come to love Gaiman’s work over the last several years, and a gift card plus positive recommendations from friends prompted me to pick up a copy for myself.

The Goodreads Blurb:

Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart – and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. From that moment forward he is propelled into a world he never dreamed existed – a dark subculture flourishing in abandoned subway stations and sewer tunnels below the city – a world far stranger and more dangerous than the only one he has ever known…


The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 126:

Richard stared at the glistening street. It all seemed so normal, so quiet, so sane. For a moment, he felt that all he needed to get his life back would be to hail a taxi and tell it to take him home. And then he would sleep the night through in his own bed. But a taxi would not see him or stop for him, and he had nowhere to go, even if one did.

Neverwhere Cover

In Retrospect: The Martian

I added this book to my TBR back when it first came out due to a segment on NPR.

I purchased it a few days ago based on the ratings of a few trusted friends.

Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down! The premise isn’t entirely unique, but The Martian is like no other survival tale I’ve read. Think 45% Robinson Crusoe + 45% Apollo 13 + 8% MacGyver + 2% Gilligan’s Island.

The majority of the book is the first-person narration of Mark Whatney, the titular Martian, in the form of “Sol logs”. The narration works, and Mark is a believable character in his range of human emotions, his though processes, his victories, and his mistakes. Oh, Mark’s vocabulary is 100% human (as it should be).

If the book has any drawbacks they are in the off-Mars sections. The characters on Earth come off as tropes: the brilliant young woman analyst who realizes the situation, the mission commander bent on getting all his team back at any cost, the bureaucrat measuring every action by the bottom line, and the previously-unknown technician who (saves the day ?) with his strategy. Mercifully, these sections are few and far between.

Despite these drawbacks, I still give The Martian 5 stars and would recommend it to anyone interested in space, exploration, science, and survival.

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