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NEVERWHERE STILL THERE

Neverwhere coverNeil Gaiman’s bestselling urban fantasy novel Neverwhere has been restored to the curriculum at New Mexico’s Alamogordo High School, ending a temporary suspension due to a parental challenge. Various webby sources reported that the book had been banned in Alamogordo High School in New Mexico. Not quite. The book was removed from the school's "required reading list" after it was brought home by a girl whose mother objected because of the book's "sexual innuendos and harsh language.”

During a school board review of the novel to see if it should be removed even from the voluntary curriculum, it remained available to students on the shelves in the school library. And now the temporary suspension has been lifted.

Karyn M. Peterson at slj.com reported: “Gaiman originally wrote Neverwhere as a BBC TV series, which aired in 1996, and adapted it the following year into a novel. It was recently broadcast as a radio play for the BBC's Radio 4. In its original review of the book, Library Journal said, ‘Gaiman's gift for mixing the absurd with the frightful give this novel the feeling of a bedtime story with adult sophistication. Readers will find themselves as unable to escape this tale as the characters themselves. Highly recommended.’"

Gaiman has fallen foul of U.S. censors before, David Barnett wrote at theguardian.com, “with his Sandman graphic novel series regularly making the list of banned or challenged books compiled by the American Library Association (ALA), with claims of being ‘anti-family,’ featuring offensive language, or being deemed ‘unsuited to age group.’”

In his latest work, Gaiman returns to the comic book character that brought him fame. The Sandman Overture is a prequel, purporting to show how the Sandman (Dream, Morpheus) came to be captured at the start of the first Sandman book, 25 years ago. For a huge, annoyingly detailed critique of Overture, venture to the Usual Place, RCHarvey.com, Rants & Raves, Op. 319.

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

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