Tara's Reviews > Anansi Boys

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Nov 30, 08

it was amazing
Read in November, 2006

This book is often mentioned in the same breath as American Gods, and I saw it referred to as a sequel or prequel so many times that I was perhaps a tad disappointed that these books had nothing to do with each other. I mean, there is a similar pretense of Gods incarnated as humans [sort of] and living under these various guises while influencing people around them [kinda], but most of the power struggles and ideas about belief-giving-power-to-deity from AG are not at all present in this nonetheless delightful story about the bloodline of Anansi the spider.
I've read enough of Gaiman's stuff now to really start to appreciate the way he drops in little tangential fables and they don't really become apparent as plot device until much further in the story. They tend to give a lot of color and tone to what he writes and usually depart at least slightly from the general story, usually slipping further into the purely fantastic, and Gaiman is a joy to read in a universe without rules [as well as those universes with rules of his devising, but the flights of fancy maintain a sense of spooky playfulness in his writing]. A good short example of this technique is his Halloween article from the NY Times. [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/31/opi...]
My favorite character here was probably Anansi, even though he's not actively in the story terribly often. I love the picture of the dapper little old guy who still wines and dines women, loves to dance, and wears lemon-yellow gloves. Secondarily, I loved Spider, who kind of looked like Crowley [from Good Omens], in my head - what with the leather and the slicked hair and the suavity.

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