Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mayhem: Mr Croup and Mr Vandemar


This Character Connection post is part of Helluva Halloween Character Connection hosted by The Introverted Reader whereby one must...

The challenge:
Write a post (non-bloggers can use each week's comments) about any character from a horror/thriller type novel OR a villain from any type of book. I'm talking about the real baddies on that villain thing. I know horror/thriller is a gray area, so if you think it's appropriate for Halloween, I'll count it.

You too, can join this contest which ends Oct 30, 2010. Enter here for week 1.

Mr Croup and Mr Vandemar

My picks this week are a couple of thugs, Mr Croup and Mr Vandemar, from Neverwhere written by Neil Gaiman. These guys also fall in well with my mayhem theme today as they cause much pain. They carry out the orders from the head honcho and have no mercy. They are quite like zombies just following orders without a care of your comfort. Although with this pair it could be quite painful just to be in their presence and observing their mannerisms.

Mr. Croup: The talkative half of the pair of assassins, the Messrs. He is short, fat, and speaks in a pompous and verbose manner. Like his partner, Mr. Vandemar, he seems to be able to simply move from one place to another very quickly despite his ungainly appearance. He is the brains of the pair and seems be the one calling the shots, and he apparently has a taste (literally) for fine china. Much of the imagery used to describe him is that of a fox.

Mr. Vandemar: Dull-witted, tall, and gangly, Vandemar is Croup’s polar opposite. He does not speak much, and when he does, his statements are often laconic and blunt. He is quite brutish and seems to enjoy nothing more than killing and destroying things (even practising his golf swing with live toads). He also has a tendency to eat live animals. The descriptive imagery likens him to a hound or a wolf, and he even howls at one point when catching up with his mark.

These fellas can be found in here...

by Neil Gaiman

Based on a TV series that first aired on BBC Two in 1996 and later adapted to book form.

Description from the amazon:
Richard Mayhew is a plain man with a good heart -- and an ordinary life that is changed forever on a day he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk.

From that moment forward he is propelled into a world he never dreamed existed -- a dark subculture flourish in abandoned subway stations and sewer tunnels below the city -- a world far stranger and more dangerous than the only one he has ever known...

He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.

Per Wikipedia, Neverwhere can also be found in these formats:

Comic book: written by Mike Carey with art by Glenn Fabry

DVD: TV series

Film: in-development

Stage: coming in Spring 2011 by The Northwest Academy in Portland, OR with High School actors

Previous stage productions:
2006 by Cardinal Rep in Savannah, GA
2008 by Actors Gymnasium in Evanstan, IL
2010 by Lifeline Theatre in Chicago, IL


* image source for the thugs

* source for thug descriptions

* for Misty's event...

-+0+o+ October Trix-n-Treatz schedule +o+0+-


  1. Great pick! These two are my favourite characters from this book. as much as I love Gaiman's writing, I didn't much like this book. Croup and Vandemar were nicer to each other than the good guys were to each other.

    Do you know the song Vandemar by Joachim Witt btw?

    It's part of the tribute cd: Where's Neil when you need him
    Very much worth listening to

  2. I had no idea this book was based on a TV series! This book has been on my TBR shelf forever, staring at me. I should really just read it already.

    @Sullivan: I LOVE the tribute CD!!! So many great songs by awesome artists.

  3. Wonderful post! I admit a fascination with Croup and Vandemar (after reading Neverwhere for the upteenth time) -- they're a little scary, but also kinda cool and amusing.

  4. This book is new to me, I've not heard of Neverwhere before now, but those two baddies sound pretty interesting - which btw the portrait of them is wickedly awesome!!!

  5. I'm reading this right now for my bookclub! Well, not right now, but I will be this month. I look forward to it. And I love the picture of your two characters!

  6. Wow, I haven't read that book (it's a classic by now, though, eh?), but along with "American Gods" it's in my to-read list!!

  7. No wonder I think I know these guys! LOL.

  8. +JMJ+

    They do sound like a scary pair of baddies! I wonder what makes them tick . . .

  9. A) LOVE these guys. They are exquisite antagonists in the book!
    B) LOVE LOVE LOVE Neil Gaiman. (
    C) I saw the recent Lifeline Theatre (Chicago, IL) adaptation of this, and it was friggin STUNNING. I have never seen such an amazing production of a fantasy book than that show. It was epic. Also, Neil came to see it and hung out with the cast afterwards, and said lots of nice things about it. :) Hooray!

  10. This is a book I haven't read yet, but I'll do it soon. I love Neil Gaiman's books! >_<
    I didn't know there was a tv series and comic book. *_*

  11. I read Neverwhere last year and really liked it.

  12. Welcome to Character Connection! Great post!

    I read Neverwhere ages and ages ago, and honestly don't remember much about it except that I liked it. I do remember these two as being pretty creepy though!

    Like the others, I had no idea this was based on a tv show. I think I'd heard something about a movie though. It should be good!


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