Trying to review Neil Gaiman's
is a ridiculous undertaking, because he's quite simply a genius.
For those trying to jump over from Gaiman's graphic novels, this is a good place to start. Fat Charlie Nancy finds himself in a world he didn't know existed. His father, and by extension his brother, are gods, and Fat Charlie inherited none of the magic. After their father's death, though, he wants to get to know this brother he never knew existed, only to find that Spider takes over everything, and ruins his life. Fat Charlie goes in search of a way to remove spider from his life and enters a world far more dangerous than he could have ever imagined, but along the way he finds himself.
Gaiman's writing makes it look easy, but the intricate weaving of folklore with Fat Charlie's story is simply stunning. Normally, I'd get bored and want to flip back to the main story, but the folk tales ARE the main story. Fat Charlie isn't a Gary Stu, but Gaiman makes it easy for the reader to empathize with him and want him to succeed when he could easily have devolved into annoying and flat.
is a book I'll read again, if for no other reason than to admire the sheer craft of the story.