You can read it online until the end of the month at this link. This is the "Browse inside" feature that didn't work very well with American gods, but which they've improved -- I thought it was faster and much more legible.
You can download a copy which will have a lifespan of 30 days from the yellow button at this location. I'd thought it was a PDF, but it's not: I had to install Adobe Digital Editions -- http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/?source=acroetd, which went on fast, and then I clicked on the yellow Download Neverwhere button on the Harpers Page, and it worked like a charm on both the Windows and on the Mac machines. I didn't bother creating an Adobe ID, and it seems to happily transfer it to other things. If you're really worried about Neverwhere going up in digital smoke after 30 days, or are a very slow reader, you can even print it out. Otherwise, this is your chance to try it for free.
(I know I should have done this when I was in China, but I rarely had both an internet connection and the time to check it out.)
And I have no doubt that Harpers will eventually want to questionaire anyone who's tried it (or tried and had trouble) just as they did with the American Gods read online experiment. In each case, everyone learns things. (I saw a rough version of the downloadable Neverwhere, where anyone wanting to read it had to give their name and address and go through several screens of providing information that would never be used by anyone and wasn't needed, and I explained that if I saw those screens I'd stop right there, so they should take them out. And after explaining that it was impossible to take them out, they took them out, for which I am extremely grateful.)
Labels: free book