Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman

Rating : 3.5/5
Number of Pages : 457
Reason for Reading : Mythopoeic Challenge, I really enjoyed American Gods and this sort of follows on from there with one of the characters reappearing

Fat Charlie Nancy lives a barely average life in London with the best part being his fiance Rosie. The downsides are her mother who hates him, the fact that Rosie won't sleep with him until they are married and his creepy boss Grahame Coats who talks in cliches. Fat Charlie's father dies unexpectedly and on returning home to America, neighbour Mrs Higgler tells him that his father was Anansi the spider trickster god who stole all the stories and songs from Tiger. He also has a brother he doesn't remember sent away by another old lady, Mrs Dunwiddy.

One drunken evening Fat Charlie tells a spider he wants his brother to stop by, which he does, turning Fat Charlie's life upside down. He steals his fiance and gets him arrested as well as moving in to his spare bedroom and creating a whole other world in there. To get rid of him Fat Charlie must journey to meet with the other animal gods who have all suffered from Anansi's trickster ways. In the background is the dastardly Grahame Coats, a ghost and an attractive police woman which all comes together in St Andrews in the Carribean.

I found this somehow different from his other novels, more lighthearted until the final third. It was the final third that I liked best, when that typical dark Gaiman writing came in to play and all the strings on the web started to converge. Funnily enough my favourite character was Grahame Coats who made a wonderful villian.


gautami tripathy said...

I read American Gods last week. Before that Neverwhere. Like the latter better. However, I will read all the Gaiman's I can get hold of. This sounds good to me.

Ana S. said...

I liked the darker bits with Tiger and the Bird Lady best too. This is the only Neil Gaiman novel I've only read once, though, so there's much I have forgotten. I look forward to revisiting it for the Mythopoeic challenge.

chrisa511 said...

I loved Anansi Boys...definitely a little different for Gaiman, but it still had that same feel of his novels. So you must be just about finished with his books now, huh?

Kim L said...

I agree-Grahame Coats is a great villian! He's funny and sinister. I liked what happened to him in the end. I thought it was just... perfect.

This book was so much fun it was no work at all to read it! I loved how it was different completely from American Gods, but still very entertaining.

Rhinoa said...

Guatami - This vaguely follows on from American Gods which was the first book I read this year and has been my favourite by Gaiman so far. I hope you enjoy Anansi Boys when you get to it.

Nymeth - I am not sure I would read this one again. I enjoyed it, but no where near as much as American Gods and Neverwhere.

Chris - Yes I am working on it. I have just Stardust and Fragile Things to read of his adult novels and Coraline which is on my list later this year. I am also reading The Sandman series form the beginning again so I can finally finish it.

Kim - Yes I really liked what happened to Coates at the end. There could even potentially be a follow up in the future.

Jill said...

I've picked this one for the Mythopoeic Challenge, too - do you think I should read American Gods first? I'm planning on reading it eventually, and of course reading a Gaiman novel is never a hardship! I'm even more looking forward to reading this one after reading your review!

Literary Feline said...

Thanks for the great review! I definitely do plan to read this one down the road after having read American Gods. I've heard it's different from Gaiman's other books from others as well.

Rhinoa said...

Darla - No it stands completely alone from American Gods, the only thing to connect them is Anansi who is a side character in American Gods and isn't really in Anansi Boys much so don't worry. I hope you enjoy it.

LF - I hope you enjoy it. I will be interested to see if you prefer American Gods or Anansi Boys when you have read both.

Jill said...

Thanks, rhinoa - I'll just start with Anansi Boys, then. Although I'll get to American Gods eventually (she says, eying the 3-foot stack of books in the corner...)