Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
2005, 334 pages
So according to the stats 20 people “view” my blog. So maybe you just click on it and then click right out. But at least a quarter of you, ie, 5 people, mentioned something about my not enjoying Neverwhere. On the upside, this one way way better.
Anansi Boys tells the story of Fat Charlie Nancy (not actually fat, and I can’t help but think that Nancy and Anansi sound similar) and his brother Spider. In the beginning of the book, Fat Charlie’s dad dies, but Charlie didn’t know that his dad was Anansi, the spider god. So he finds some stuff out and learns that if he talks to a spider he can contact his brother. So he does. And he finds that his brother, while he has some godlike qualities, is a giant pain in the ass. Charlie is not happy.
He talks to some people with magical ritual powers that he knows (perhaps voodoo?) to help him get rid of his brother and then realizes that he has to fix it. So, mystery, gods, old folk tales and some murder are the things that are happening here. And I love it.
I like all of the Anansi stories, because folklore is one of those things that I just love. And there are lots of little stories throughout the book, which was lovely. For example, there is this in the beginning of the book:
“Olden days, all the animals wanted to have stories named after them, back in the days when the songs that sung the world were still being sung, back when they were still singing the sky and the rainbow and the ocean. It was in those days when animals were people as well as animals that Anansi the spider tricked all of them, especially Tiger, because he wanted all the stories named after him.
Stories are like spiders, with all they long legs, and stories are like spiderwebs, which man gets himself all tangled up in but which look so pretty when you see them under a leaf in the morning dew, and in the elegant way that they connect to one another each to each.”
Secondly, there’s a character, Charlie’s boss, who talks almost exclusively in cliches. A conversation had between Charlie and his boss goes like this:
“‘Fair words and fine promises. Rome was not built in a day…’
‘Right,’ said Fat Charlie. ‘So, um. No rest for the wicked.’
‘Another day, another dollar,’ said Grahame Coats, with a wag of his finger.
‘Nose to the grindstone?’ suggested Fat Charlie.
‘Shoulder to the wheel,’ said Grahame Coats.”
I think that exchange was when I first decided that I loved the book.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 bedazzles
On a separate note, Neverwhere is now a radio series on the BBC. Neverwhere. On the upside, James McAvoy is in it, and his voice is just so lovely. So automatic bedazzles for that. And the super creepy dudes have super creepy voices too. So that’s an ew….but whatevs.