Six Damn Fine Degrees #109: Neverwhere

A homeless person lies on the street covered by blankets

Welcome to Six Damn Fine Degrees. These instalments will be inspired by the idea of six degrees of separation in the loosest sense. The only rule: it connects – in some way – to the previous instalment. So come join us on our weekly foray into interconnectedness!

Different people experience London very differently. But for Richard Mayhew, the London he ends up in is nothing like any version of London we are familiar with. Well, not if we’re lucky. Up until that point Richard has led a regular life. Office job, an apartment, a fiancée and the small worries that entails. Until, that is, he finds a severely wounded woman on the street and decides to help her. In this world no good deed goes unpunished, and soon after this chivalrous rescue, he starts to become invisible. Or unnoticeable, rather, as his colleagues and even his fiancée seem not to notice him unless he gets right in their face and speaks to them. He has slipped through the cracks into another, more peripatetic London. He rapidly loses everything. Job, apartment, fiancée; because to the people around him he has all but ceased to exist. And so he can think of only one option: descend to the underground into London Below, find the woman he rescued, and somehow make a way back to his previous life.

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