Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Anansi Boys By Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is a wonderful writer. His flexibility of style is intriguing. You never know what you are getting until you read the book. After reading American Gods, I was excited to read Anansi Boys, as it is set in the same world view of man/god combinations. In this case I was disappointed. To me, it lacked the flare and drama of American Gods. I didn't get hooked by the story. I kept waiting to be enthralled and it didn't happen. It could be because I didn't like Fat Charlie, or Spider for that matter. In fact I thought they were one note characters, no depth at all. The story line should have been exciting. Fat Charlie's father dies, he meets his unknown brother and the chaos Spider causes that changes his life. All good elements that should have given the book more life. Sigh. This won't stop me from reading more of his work, as much as I've trashed this book, it was still worth reading, just not his best work, in my humble (not!) opinion.


jean pierre said...

i feel exactly the same.

anansi boys was fun, but i was expecting something more like american gods. no matter how clear other the jacket or other people's reviews made it i still couldn't prepare myself sufficiently.

not even neil himself could prepare me. i was at his book signing for anansi boys and he talked about the book at some length. the difference between anansi boys and american gods was one of the things he highlighted.

i hadn't yet read american gods and once i had and prepared myself to read anansi boys i remembered what he'd said and yet somehow i still couldn't prepare myself sufficiently. because the fact of the matter is that on its own anansi boys is actually a very enjoyabe nove.

its just having finished american gods i (and i imagine you too) desperately wanted (and in fact expected) more of what i had experienced - even though i knew this was meant to be different...

Carrie said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one. I felt kinda bad about it, considering all the other reviews.

Carl V. said...

I loved Anansi Boys, but then again I went into it kind of knowing what it was. It is written as a homage to the stories of P.G. Wodehouse, among others, and it reads just like one of those books. For that reason I really enjoyed it. And it is really okay if you didn't like it.

One of the things you learn about Neil is he hates to repeat himself. As a fan this can be frustrating, because he writes such great books that you end up wishing for sequels to all of them. Instead he tries to do something a bit different each time, with varying degrees of success depending on the reader's tastes, etc.

I read this once and then turned around and read it aloud to my wife. I liked it okay the first time I read it. Reading it aloud to her made me really love the book much more.

So glad you read it and look forward to seeing what you think of his other books.