Awesome Adaptations is a weekly bookish meme, hosted at Alisa Selene’s books blog, Picturemereading. Each week she writes about an adaptation of a book that she think is worth seeing and has challenged herself to come up with suggestions to match a category. Any format (television series, film, web series, etc.) is acceptable as long as it is based in some form on a book. Today I’m participating in An Awesomely Stylized Adaptation.
Recently I reviewed Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman which I listened to as an audiobook and it was read by Gaiman himself. I really enjoyed the story. I thought his commentary on the people who fall through the cracks in society was timely, engaging, and I really like that he took it to a fantastical level instead of a breaking, on-the-nose type of literary commentary. I liked the tone of the story, how it was quirky and dark at the same time. I also felt like I gained a lot of insight from how Gaiman read the book.
Right after I finished the audiobook the BBC announced they were doing a dramatization of the book with several well known actors playing the main parts. Gaiman scored a voice over part or two himself. It is a six part adaption the novel adapted by Dirk Maggs. James McAvoy plays Richard and the voice over cast also includes Natalie Dormer, David Harewood, Sophie Okonedo, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christopher Lee, and Anthony Head. I enjoyed this dramatization of Neverwhere. I thought it carried over the same dark and fantastical themes as the original source material. It was quirky and thought provoking. There were some exposition points by the actors that did not flow as well as the original prose by Gaiman and at times McAvoy over acted his voice acting. Overall I thought it was a wonderful adaptation that stayed fairly true to the original writing and exhibited the same dark world that Gaiman created, but I would recommend also reading or listening to the book and not just relying on this stylized adaptation to give you the story Gaiman unleashed to the world. (I found the mp3 files here if you weren’t able to listen to them when they made it on to BBC4 Radio iPlayer.) Richard and Door in cartoon style.
I found some lovely fan art doing my review and writing up this post. Including Marc Brownlow’s illustration of Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar. A character study of the main characters in the book. Pencil(?) illustration of Lady Door. Even some cosplay of Lady Door.