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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Anansi Boys

***** Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Contemporary fantasy.

Anansi Boys is the story of Fat Charlie Nancy, who's not fat, but his father gave him the nickname and it stuck. His father has been the bane of his existence--always embarrassing, always a womanizer. And then he dies, and even his death is embarrassing, but Charlie returns to Florida for the funeral, thinking the torment is over.

Then he finds out that his father was Anansi, the spider god, and that he himself has a brother, Spider, who inherited his father's powers; and when Spider moves in with him, Charlie realizes it's only just beginning.

In true Gaiman fashion, the story is full of humor, fantastical things made real, and an abundance of twists and turns such that you give up trying to figure out where he's going to take you next and just hang on for the ride. There's even a wonderfully romantic, if slightly skewed, love story. It's the same universe as American Gods, where the gods are real and live among humans, though it's not really a sequel, and the two books can be read separately. And it's a coming-of-age-story of sorts, in that Charlie and Spider both grow up emotionally.

I can't think of anything else to say that hasn't been said already, and much more coherently--I'm rendered speechless by extreme fangirlishness. Great book. I knew it would be.

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