Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
‘Riotous comedy’ would not be the right set of words to describe this book. I can’t really think of the right set though. But that’s my problem, and enough about me.
If there were such a thing as a Neil Gaiman comedy continuum Anansi Boys would sit halfway between Good Omens and American Gods. I guess. What I’m trying to say here is that there are plenty of amusing moments in this book, and plenty of serious moments too.
Fat Charlie Nancy hates his life. He’s not even that fat, but his father calls him Fat Charlie and so does everyone else. When his father gives someone or something a name, that name sticks.
Charlie’s father is, unknown to him, the god Anansi. When his father dies, Fat Charlie become entangled in a lot of ‘god business’ and his life becomes very interesting indeed. Especially after his brother shows up.
I loved Anansi Boys, just as I have read and loved Neverwhere, American Gods, and Good Omens. Neil Gaiman is a writer who deftly opens windows into the souls of his characters, and makes you pay attention, makes you care about what will happen next.