Monday, August 18, 2008

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

God is dead. Meet the kids.

When Fat Charlie's dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie "Fat Charlie." Even now, twenty years later, Charlie Nancy can't shake that name, one of the many embarrassing "gifts" his father bestowed -- before he dropped dead on a karaoke stage and ruined Fat Charlie's life.

Mr. Nancy left Fat Charlie things. Things like the tall, good-looking stranger who appears on Charlie's doorstep, who appears to be the brother he never knew. A brother as different from Charlie as night is from day, a brother who's going to show Charlie how to lighten up and have a little fun ... just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie.

Because, you see, Charlie's dad wasn't just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. Some said he could cheat even Death himself.

Growing up Anansi was one of my favorite fictional characters in folk tales. He was so tricksy and got into so much trouble it was hilarious. When I saw this novel (I dom't remember where) I was extactic. I was even more extatic when I found out that my library had the audio book on file (this way my mom could enjoy it too). Reading Anansi Boys triggered so many memories of the Spider God I grew to love, overlooking his apparent love for mischief and mayhem. I was really pleased. Neil Gaiman, author of Stardust, another favorite of mine, did an awesome job incorporating the world of Anansi into modern day society.

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