Fans of Neverwhere, rejoice. The Marquis of Carabas has returned and is as slippery and smooth-talking as ever. Neil Gaiman takes readers into London Below once more as the Marquis embarks upon an adventure to retrieve his stolen coat. Despite being much smaller in scope and scale than Neverwhere, it is impossible not to be immersed in Gaiman’s fantastical world.
The Marquis has lost his coat. Or, more specifically, it has been stolen. His first port of call is the floating market, at which he is directed towards the Mushroom people. One such Mushroom person agrees to tell the Marquis where his coat is, on the condition that he deliver a love note to his intended lover, Drusilla of Ravens Court. This is all whilst the Mushroom person is picking fungi off his face. And eating it. After the Marquis agrees to help, he is informed that his coat is in the perilous Shepherd’s Bush.
The insight into the most elusive and intriguing character of Neverwhere is incredible fun. We meet the Marquis’ brother, the supremely suave Peregrine, who has self-styled his name and identity much like his brother. There are the characteristic twists and turns you’d expect of Gaiman’s work, and nothing and no-one are quite what they seem.
How the Marquis Got His Coat Back was originally released as part of Rogues, a short story collection compiled by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, but has now been released in book form. Specifically, a palm-sized volume that is as delightful as the tale it tells. Fans of Neverwhere will not be disappointed, nor, for that matter, will fans of stories in general.