From Publishers Weekly:
If readers found the Sandman series creator’s last novel, American Gods, hard to classify, they will be equally nonplussed—and equally entertained—by this brilliant mingling of the mundane and the fantastic. “Fat Charlie” Nancy leads a life of comfortable workaholism in London, with a stressful agenting job he doesn’t much like, and a pleasant fiancée, Rosie. When Charlie learns of the death of his estranged father in Florida, he attends the funeral and learns two facts that turn his well-ordered existence upside-down: that his father was a human form of Anansi, the African trickster god, and that he has a brother, Spider, who has inherited some of their father’s godlike abilities. Spider comes to visit Charlie and gets him fired from his job, steals his fiancée, and is instrumental in having him arrested for embezzlement and suspected of murder. When Charlie resorts to magic to get rid of Spider, who’s selfish and unthinking rather than evil, things begin to go very badly for just about everyone. Other characters—including Charlie’s malevolent boss, Grahame Coats (“an albino ferret in an expensive suit”), witches, police and some of the folk from American Gods—are expertly woven into Gaiman’s rich myth, which plays off the African folk tales in which Anansi stars. But it’s Gaiman’s focus on Charlie and Charlie’s attempts to return to normalcy that make the story so winning—along with gleeful, hurtling prose.
Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
From Publishers Weekly:
You are really busy 🙂
So far I read two Neil Gaiman books: THE GRAVEYARD BOOK and PRELUDES AND NOCTURNES. I liked both.
Due to your review ANANSI BOYS is an interesting book. But I must admit it is not what I want to read in the next months… I'm longing for thrillers set in London (1300 – 1890), epic fantasy, steampunk and a pinch of sf….
haha.. busy… that's one way to put it.
I have noticed you've been reading some really interesting things recently. You're blog has single handedly caused my to-be-read pile to explode.
I got hooked on Gaiman years ago with Neverwhere. to be followed by Stardust, American Gods, Graveyard book and Coraline. But I've yet to read Anansi Boys, looked like I just added another book to my library hold list!
Like you Sarah, I really appreciated the dark grittyness of American Gods. It is one that stays with you.
Whenever I've had my hands on a Gaiman novel (not as many as I'd like to have, sadly) I've devoured it and loved every page. American Gods and Anansi Boys are two that I still need to read, but I'll redouble my efforts after reading this. Thanks 🙂
I'm shaken to the core. I'm dreadfully sorry for all the impacts on your to-be-read pile ;-))
Jamie, I really enjoyed both. They are the only Gaiman books I've read but I want to read more. Any suggestions on what Gaiman book I should hit up next?
Edi, ha…I love how your steampunk love is expanding my horizons. There's books I'm going to read that I would have never even known existed if not for you!!
Redhead, I'm glad someone else enjoys the dark grittiness of American Gods. :p I've been looking at "Neverwhere" but I haven't read it. Should I?
I'm sure you read Steampunk Autumn (I will get them all!!) and Have you seen this Man?.
I look forward to next week. Amazon proposed to deliver my copy of THE IMMORALITY ENGINE by George Mann which is the third book in the Newbury & Hobbes Investigations :-)))
I'm going to make a rare divergence on this one… I really disliked Anansi Boys (and thought American Gods was 'ok'). Gaiman is a brilliant comic book writer – absolutely genius – but I find half his short stories and three-quarters of his full-length books to be really wanting. I think he's got great ideas, but relies too much on glib trivia & charismatic world-building s to carry him through. His character development is completely absent, and he writes action & story like someone else (I dunno, the penciller?) is going to come through and pick up the pieces.
Neverwhere and Stardust would be the two novels I'm happiest with – probably because they're essentially comic scripts with better punctuation.
Lest I sound completely snarky, I *do* think he's one of the best comic book writers of all time (with a good case to be THE best). Whenever I read one of his short collections (or an hour of his constant tweeting) and I get a little down on him, a single issue of Sandman is enough to remind me what an incredible talent he has.
Jared, I haven't ever really thought of his works in that way, but I can 100% see where you are coming from. I will freely admit that I find his humor and world building the most impressive with his writing. I did find Anansi Boys lacking on characterization much more than American Gods. I've never read any of his other stuff.
I always welcome other opinions. Your comment is making me reanalyze Anansi Boys. Thanks for sharing your opinions. I really appreciate it. 🙂
Definitely try Neverwhere next – curious to see what you think!
(Also, if you've got a chance, try watching the old BBC series they made of it… the special effects are spectacularly bad, but it is, otherwise, pretty alright.)
American Gods is on my 'to be read' pile.