A short but densely packed Neverwhere story about everyone’s favourite marquis. Needless to say, How the Marquis Got His Coat Back contains a fairly major spoiler for Neverwhere – you have been warned.
Once Carabas makes his way out of the Thames he has one priority and one priority only: to retrieve the magnificent, eminent, anti-hero-esque coat that makes him the man we all know and love. Thus ensues a quick-witted, adventurous and characteristically peculiar mini adventure with one particularly satisfying cameo.
At only 60 or so pages, How the Marquis Got His Coat Back is a nice revisiting of Gaiman’s Neverwhere and the whimsical world of London Below, offering up some interesting insights into the Marquis’s past. I reckon it’s best served as an accompaniment to the novel rather than a standalone work. Saying that, if you’re a Gaiman fan that’s had some difficulty bringing others into the fold (people can be so stubborn), then this little novella may be a good gateway to attempt.
It’s also the perfect length to devour in a single teatime – whether or not you partake of The Mushroom – and so has the wonderfully endearing quality of making you feel productive while not being at all a chore to get through. Here’s a little blurb to get you going:
The coat. It was elegant. It was beautiful. It was so close that he could have reached out and touched it.
And it was unquestionably his.
Highly recommended for those who have read Neverwhere, and for those who intend never to.
The edition of How the Marquis Got His Coat Back (London Below, The World of Neverwhere) by Neil Gaiman reviewed here was published by Headline on 27 October 2015, ISBN: 9781472235329.