Banned Book 15- Neverwhere

Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

This was banned or challenged in the 2013-2014 school year.  Gaiman’s novel is a forerunner to Un Lun Don in some ways.  It tells the story of Richard Richard Mayhew Dick and his journey into the Neverwhere of London including with many fairy tale references.  It is a book that also was a nice mini-series and highly enjoyable. 


                The issue seems to be one of darkness, the story being too dark and that makes people uncomfortable.  Of course, this is because everything is unicorns and rainbows.


                Living in a city is vastly difference than living in the suburbs or in the country.  Even living in different neighborhoods in a city can be like living in a different planet.  Anyone who lives in a city can tell you that.  It’s why books like Neverwhere are attractive, at least in part because it captures in some cases that darkness and combines it with magic.  It’s easier to think about it.  And who doesn’t a tunnel to another world for you at the end of the street.


                But what is wrong with expanding the view of someone?  I know, I know, that means they were challenge the government or the big guy.  But why complain of darkness?  What is wrong with being frighten.  Isn’t that why there are roller-coasters?  Granted I don’t ride them because the chances of me throwing up on the person in front of me are very great.  People go on scary reads all the time.  Some people even find carousels frightening.  Such people are usually 3, but still.  What makes a book being dark, being scary, so different than an amusement ride or a museum?


                Is it because while a picture says a thousand words, a word says two thousand?  Because we spend more time with a book than an amusement park ride?  But like the book, we can go on the ride again and again.