Category: Neil Gaiman

book review – Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman


When you come to an author for the first time you never know where is a good place to start. By default this was the only Neil Gaiman that the local library stocked so it made sense to pick up the heavy hardback of the Anansi Boys.

It’s hard to describe quite what you discover here as the tale of Fat Charlie moves from the straightforward into something completely fantastic. The humour is there from the start but the switch into fantasy happens with the introduction of a brother, Spider, who sweeps into Fat Charlie’s world and turns it upside down. The reason why this book works even when bird women are flying through the streets of London and a tiger is stalking a parallel universe is because there is a story there that is accessible.

As Fat Charlie’s boss dips his fingers in the till and rips off his clients it is a loose comment by Spider that starts an avalanche that is almost plausible in the real world. As the mixture of the worlds of old mixes with the new the other story that you want to develop and see to its conclusion is the ugly duckling turned hero. This is all fuelled by humour that shows a deep understanding of what gets smiles on both sides of the Atlantic.

From the perspective of using literature as escapism it is hard to beat this. The fantasy is not overdone for those that like to keep their feet in the real world but the book acts as a door to another world where there are happy endings and even crazy bird women can end up being satisfied. See this for what it is a clever, witty and imaginative tale told by a writer of talent. Those looking for some headache inducing tale of love and loss will have to look elsewhere.

A great introduction to Gaiman and waiting at some point is American Gods…

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book review – Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman


When you come to an author for the first time you never know where is a good place to start. By default this was the only Neil Gaiman that the local library stocked so it made sense to pick up the heavy hardback of the Anansi Boys.

It’s hard to describe quite what you discover here as the tale of Fat Charlie moves from the straightforward into something completely fantastic. The humour is there from the start but the switch into fantasy happens with the introduction of a brother, Spider, who sweeps into Fat Charlie’s world and turns it upside down. The reason why this book works even when bird women are flying through the streets of London and a tiger is stalking a parallel universe is because there is a story there that is accessible.

As Fat Charlie’s boss dips his fingers in the till and rips off his clients it is a loose comment by Spider that starts an avalanche that is almost plausible in the real world. As the mixture of the worlds of old mixes with the new the other story that you want to develop and see to its conclusion is the ugly duckling turned hero. This is all fuelled by humour that shows a deep understanding of what gets smiles on both sides of the Atlantic.

From the perspective of using literature as escapism it is hard to beat this. The fantasy is not overdone for those that like to keep their feet in the real world but the book acts as a door to another world where there are happy endings and even crazy bird women can end up being satisfied. See this for what it is a clever, witty and imaginative tale told by a writer of talent. Those looking for some headache inducing tale of love and loss will have to look elsewhere.

A great introduction to Gaiman and waiting at some point is American Gods…

Anansi Boys – post III

It is quiet a task trying to summarise this book. So what I will say is how well the plot was constructed bringing together all the various strands in the one geographical location and how the oarallel worlds managed to collide just at the right moments.

What keeps you reading this story, which verges on the bizarre on occasion, is the humour and the confidence. You know that Gaiman must have enjoyed bringing this all together and making the story of spoiders, gods and long lost brothers work out to its conclusion.

There are momebts that have you smiling and others that are disturbing and worthy of a scene from a horror flick. But overall it is with a sense of well being you turn the final page and conclude this fantastical tale. In its role as the first Gaiman I have read it ceetainly wikll act as a spur to encourage me to try more of his work.

A reviuew will follow soon…

Anansi Boys – post II

Having not read any Neil Gaiman before this was the only book my local library had so was the only realistic place to start without shelling out some money.

You start thinking that although incredibly imaginative and clever with the magical references this is a written version of a Doctor Pepper advert. What’s the worst that could happen? Turns out to be plenty when Fat Charlie summons his brother.

Once installed in his home Spider manages to help Charlie lose his job, threatens his relationship with his fiancé and takes over his home. Quite whether or not Charlie will manage to get his life back depends it seems on his willingness to embrace the strangeness that surrounds his late father and brother.

Trying to crack on with this because it is due back at the library tomorrow so that deadline is a great motivational tool.

More tomorrow…

Anansi Boys – post I

Never having read any Neil Gaiman before the choice of Anansi Boys was down to the stock held in the local library. This large hardback is probably not where I would have wanted the Gaiman journey to start but beggars can’t be choosers.

Things start with a funeral and a bit of family background and for a chapter or two things seem to be going on in a fairly normal way with fat Charlie heading home to the US from England for the funeral of his embarrassing father who died mid-karaoke.

But then Charlie is filled in on the fact his father was a God, some sort of spider god, and at that point the things you have heard and are braced for with a Gaiman seem to be starting to come true with the fantastic and the macabre.

More to come…