Fat Charlie Nancy’s normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn’t know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother.
Now brother Spider’s on his doorstep — about to make Fat Charlie’s life more interesting… and a lot more dangerous. (Goodreads)
It is hilarious. Pretty much the main reason why you should check out the novel. It’ll have you chuckling, giggling, chortling and everything as the story goes on. Neil Gaiman nails the humour on this one and it was a nice, pleasant change from his darker novels. If you want a warm, funny read, then this is the book to savor. I read this one during my trips to work and found how difficult it is to pretend to cough for long, several minutes just to hide the guffaws stuck at my throat.
“There are three things, and three things only, that can lift the pain of mortality and ease the ravages of life,” said Spider. “These things are wine, women and song”…
“Curry’s nice too” pointed out Fat Charlie.
It takes a glimpse on African folklore. One thing I love about Neil Gaiman is how culturally diverse his novels could be. He tackled several myths and folklore on American Gods and the Sandman comics and introduced me to cultures I wouldn’t even have thought about. As for Anansi Boys, he brings us to African folktales, particularly the tales of Anansi, who literally owned all stories thanks to his wits.
Anansi gave his name to stories. Every story is Anansi’s. Once, before the stories were Anansi’s, they all belonged to Tiger (which is the name the people of the islands call all the big cats), and the tales were dark and evil, and filled with pain, and none of them ended happily. But that was a long time ago. These days, the stories are Anansi’s.”
It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Oh, there’s drama in this one, but you’ll still find yourself enjoying it. I like how it turns, what we call, climactic moments into really fun scenes. It’s like watching a cartoon and the dry humor of Anansi Boys does seem to be inspired on your cartoon network shows. Everything is light in this novel and everything simply makes you feel better (or bad about our unlucky main character).
“A toast,” he said. “To our father’s memory.”
“To Dad,” said Fat Charlie, and he clinked his glass against Spider’s—managing, miraculously, not to spill any as he did so—and he tasted his wine. It was peculiarly bitter and herby, and salt. “What is this?”
“Funeral wine, the kind you drink for gods. They haven’t made it for a long time. It’s seasoned with bitter aloes and rosemary, and with the tears of brokenhearted virgins.”
“And they sell it in a Fleet Street wine bar?” Fat Charlie picked up the bottle, but the label was too faded and dusty to read. “Never heard of it.”
And then it jumps you with a profound message:
People respond to the stories. They tell them themselves. The stories spread, and as people tell them, the stories change the tellers. Because now the folk who never had any thought in their head but how to run from lions and keep far enough away from rivers that the crocodiles don’t get an easy meal, now they’re starting to dream about a whole new place to live.
The world may be the same, but the wallpaper’s changed. Yes? People still have the same story, the one where they get born and they do stuff and they die, but now the story means something different to what it meant before.”
The Verdict: Four out of Five Hunny Pots
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About the Author:
Neil Gaiman was born in Hampshire, UK, and now lives in the United States near Minneapolis. As a child he discovered his love of books, reading, and stories, devouring the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, James Branch Cabell, Edgar Allan Poe, Michael Moorcock, Ursula K. LeGuin, Gene Wolfe, and G.K. Chesterton. Website | Twitter | Tumblr