anansi boys

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006
by Neil Gaiman #44

Poor Fat Charlie - he's got family problems, women problems, arachnid problems, little old lady problems, work problems, and - well, a lot of problems and trouble with the law on top of it all. He is not the sort of hero that can gracefully extricate himself from these troubles, which makes him all the more compelling and sympathetic (even as one winces at him putting his foot in it again and again).

There are reviews of this book all over the internet, so I will just say that it is funny, kinda scary (in parts), and very satisfying. In his Powell's interview, Gaiman mentioned that he was going for a Wodehouse/ Thorne Smith vibe, which predisposed me to love this before I even opened it. My dad made me read Night Life of the Gods at an impressionable age (well, he didn't make me, but he did keep pestering me.) It certainly colored the way I studied Greek and Roman gods - it has got to be more fun to study mythology with the Thorne Smith module already in place. Anyway.

Lots of people have noted that this book has a character (Mr. Nancy) that appeared in American Gods,but I wouldn't really say they're connected in any substantive way. I enjoyed this one a lot more, but maybe I'm being unfair to American Gods. Or maybe I just like the comic tone of Anansi Boys more than the tough-guy, crime-novel style of American Gods. But it doesn't really matter what I liked more or less - this is about Anansi Boys which I love. I read it from the library, and then got it as a Christmas gift. Hooray! Now I can read it again whenever I like.

One more book post, and then I will be all caught up with my 2005 book list. I'm bummed I didn't make it to 50, but it was an interesting exercise and has made me consider what kind of reading I do. I think I'll try again in '06.
1 comment on "anansi boys"
  1. Good old Thorne Smith! I think he may have been one of the losses of the Great Prairie Moving Catastrophe. I'll have to do another search for the book, though I don't remember seeing it when I was alphabetizing my fiction the other day. :-(


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