Nessundove: the new edition of Neil Gaiman's classic

Nessundove: the new edition of Neil Gaiman's classic


Few cities in the world can rival London's cosmopolitan and elegant charm. The capital of the kingdom of her Majesty has built an identity in which millenary history and modernity find a happy synergy, in which secular traditions and new influences of other cultures are inserted. A palpable vitality that allows you to meet different glimpses that leave the feeling of passing into different worlds, a suggestion that is perfectly relived in Nessundove, a 1996 novel by Neil Gaiman, which Mondadori now proposes again in an edition that honors the best of work of the English novelist.

Universally known for American Gods, Sandman, Good Omens and other great novels, Gaiman began his career as a writer with Nessundove, a story that, as the novelist tells in the introduction of the new edition itself, arises from a parallel project. The genesis of Nessundove, in fact, is linked to a BBC television series, for which Gaiman had been hired as a screenwriter, but in which he was forced to reconcile his narrative verve with the needs of serial production, a condition that led to change some passages of the original story, which did not fit well with Gaiman's own vision.

Nessundove: the author's favorite version

During the production of the BBC show Gaiman kept noticing dissonances between the episodes of the series and his way of understanding the story, a contrast that led him to look for a way to fully bring out the plot he had imagined:

"I was constantly clashing with the fact that what I saw on the screen did not match what I had in mind. A novel seemed to me the best way to get my idea to go straight into the minds of the readers. Books are an excellent tool for this purpose "

No sooner said than done, Gaiman immediately set to work, and Nessundove made his appearance in bookstores the same year in which the much-maligned television series was released. But something was still missing, and Gaiman, taking the opportunity of an edition also in American territory, chose to revise his work, adapting it to the taste of overseas readers. A first revision, if you like, designed to welcome in your London even those who are not familiar with the English capital, a real character of this fascinating adventure.

Because it is London, or rather, they are the two souls of London to be the scene of a story that combines horror, action, emotion and poetry. If we are normally led to see the City and the monuments of the English city as its most famous face, in reality there is another London, hidden under the foundations of the great busy metropolis, in which a society moves that has very little to do with it. with our world. A parallel London, in which monsters and heroes, ancient folklore characters and ordinary people coexist, ended up in this reality "falling through the cracks of the world".

An experience that is now lived by Richard Mayhew, a young man who, having moved from the Scottish countryside to the great metropolis, managed to create an ideal life for himself, made up of work, friendships and a partner. But this idyllic portrait is immediately sifted through when it emerges that Richard, after all, is not so satisfied with his work and that his beloved girlfriend, perhaps, is not the right person for him, given their incredible diversity. Thoughts that wriggle in his mind, and that explode in his life when one evening, while he is going to an important dinner with his girlfriend, he decides to help an injured girl, apparently appeared out of nowhere.

This meeting will forever change Richard's life, who from the first moment he crosses the road with the mysterious Door will see his life vanish into thin air to be rewritten. Literally, since his good deed will have the consequence of making him invisible to the normal world, making him disappear even from the memories of his friends and people close to him, instead bringing him closer to the community of the other London, the underground and magical one to which Porta belongs. . A new existence in which Richard will have to question himself, finding a new identity and a new path.

Nessundove: a magical London

Nessundove is a novel suitable for all ages, considered as Gaiman succeeds to grasp aspects of our daily life capable of touching the emotional chords of readers. The concept of magic of the underground world must not lead to think that it is an adolescent urban fantasy, considered as this paranormal environment is only a narrative tool skilfully used by the novelist to build a plot in which there are problems and sensations ideally closer to an adult audience.

Gaiman's fiction, consolidated over the course of the novelist's career, is already showing off in Nessundove. His dialectic, his delicate but intriguing way of creating a happy synthesis between the real and the magical are already present, combined with his sparkling writing, animated by quick and perfect phrases in delineating the characters' experience, playful in looking for lexical forms that create some amusing contrasts between bombastic and slang. With Nessundove we are at the root of Gaiman's narrative conception, who in giving life to this urban and magical adventure creates a parterre of unforgettable characters, magnificently characterized through the dialogues, which show the innate personality of each one.

The Gaiman fans have certainly already read Nessundove, but they have never had the opportunity to venture into this new edition, in which the author has again made some small improvements, at least in his opinion. It is no coincidence that we are talking about a new edition that is presented with a rather emblematic declaration: the author's favorite version. By Gaiman's own admission, what is contained in Mondadori's volume is the synthesis of the two previous editions, English and American, to which some passages have been removed and other parts added. Gaiman himself, in his introduction, guarantees that you are faced with a unique edition, the result of this careful revision:

"Even if you have already read Nessundove, you can be sure that you have not never read this edition of Nessundove before ”

A promise that is kept also thanks to the presence of the wonderful illustrations by Chris Rendell. Whether it is full-page images, or small sketched figures at the edge of the page, Rendell best interprets this fascinating imaginary world, also visually guiding the reader inside Gaiman's creation. A new reading of a classic embellished also by an unpublished short story, How the Marquis got his coat back, linked to one of the novel's protagonists. Mondadori has dedicated a lot of care to the realization of this edition of Nessundove, with an attractive cover graphics and in line with the fantastic tenor of what Gaiman tells.

The Mondadori edition, therefore, presents itself as a unmissable reading both for Gaiman fans and for those looking for an engaging and exciting story, perfect to entertain and leave us with the pleasant feeling of having fully experienced one of the classics of modern fiction.

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