Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You should read it: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

I love Neil Gaiman, he is one of my all time favourite authors. He writes about the greatest topics and in a way that is intriguing, fast paced and totally captivating. He has the great gift of combining the every day mundane with the extraordinary.

Whenever I buy a new novel by Gaiman, I cannot put it down and have to read it start to finish in one go. That is also what I did with Anansi Boys, my second favourite Gaiman novel after American Gods.

Anansi Boys tells the story of Fat Charlie Nancy, an average kinda guy with a boring job and an even more boring relationship. When his estranged father passes away, he finds out that he was really a God, a God of tricks to be precise. He also learns that he has a half brother named Spider, who happens to have a lot of strange God like powers.

When Spider comes to visit him, he decides it will be fun to impersonate him and manages to get him fired from his job, lose his girlfriend and basically ruin his already pathetic life even further. It goes so far that Charlie even gets arrested for embezzlement and is accused of murder.

Spider is not at all aware of what he is doing or what kind of harm he is inflicting on Charlie. He is just having a bit of fun and in his carelessness and selfishness does not have a clue that he has overstayed his welcome. Needless to say, Charlie is trying his best to get rid of his brother again, so he can get back to his peaceful and boring life.

What I love most about this story is the fact that apart from Fat Charlie, no one seems to think the fact that both his father and his half brother are Gods with strange magical gifts is anything strange or unusual.

In fact, we find out that everyone in Charlie’s life (apart from his girlfriend) already knew about his father and the fact that he had a half brother, but no one ever thought of informing him.

I very much identified with Fat Charlie and could understand why finding out everything that he did and having his brother come mess up his life was so upsetting to him. I would totally freak out if I knew I had relatives who were really Gods, with weird magical powers. Even more than the weird powers, I would be upset by all the trickery and carelessness. Nope, no God like family for me, thank you very much.

Intrigued? If you are, you should definitely check out this novel. Anansi Boys is one of those rare books that draws you in from the very first page. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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