September 18, 2005

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Filed under: Literature & Fiction — Jen @ 9:52 pm

After critically acclaimed hits with Neverwhere, American Gods, and The Sandman series, Neil Gaiman’s latest offering, Anansi Boys, is Gaiman just how you like him: poignant, vivid, witty, and with just the right amount of British eccentricity to keep from falling into melodramatic antics that so often plague the fantasy/supernatural genre. “Fat Charlie” Nancy leads a busy, comfortable life in London at a job he hates and is engaged to a pleasant woman named Rosie, but all of this changes when Charlie’s father dies and Charlie uncovers the strange truth about his heritage: his father was actually the human form of the African trickster god Anansi, and he has a brother named Spider who has inherited some of his father’s magical abilities. Spider, selfish and thoughtless, ends up ruining Charlie’s life, getting him fired from his job, stealing his fiancee, and getting him arrested on embezzlement charges and suspicions of murder. When Charlie finally resorts to magic to get rid of Spider, it opens up a can of worms for everyone, including run-ins with other key figures in folktale and myth, and now all Charlie wants is to return to some sense of normalcy. Gaiman’s expert hand at weaving together his mythical characters (some of whom will be very familiar to Gaiman fans who have read his other works) is showcased to perfection here to create a rich, breathless tapestry with an epic feel.

Visit Neil Gaiman’s Official Website.

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