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Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Narrated by Lenny Henry
(American Gods #2)
Published by HarperCollins on Sept. 20th, 2005
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Fantasy
Page Length: 336 pages
Audio Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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One of fiction's most audaciously original talents, Neil Gaiman now gives us a mythology for a modern age -- complete with dark prophecy, family dysfunction, mystical deceptions, and killer birds. Not to mention a lime.

Anansi Boys
God is dead. Meet the kids.


When Fat Charlie's dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie "Fat Charlie." Even now, twenty years later, Charlie Nancy can't shake that name, one of the many embarrassing "gifts" his father bestowed -- before he dropped dead on a karaoke stage and ruined Fat Charlie's life.

Mr. Nancy left Fat Charlie things. Things like the tall, good-looking stranger who appears on Charlie's doorstep, who appears to be the brother he never knew. A brother as different from Charlie as night is from day, a brother who's going to show Charlie how to lighten up and have a little fun ... just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie.

Because, you see, Charlie's dad wasn't just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. Some said he could cheat even Death himself.

Returning to the territory he so brilliantly explored in his masterful New York Times bestseller, American Gods, the incomparable Neil Gaiman offers up a work of dazzling ingenuity, a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth that is at once startling, terrifying, exhilarating, and fiercely funny -- a true wonder of a novel that confirms Stephen King's glowing assessment of the author as "a treasure-house of story, and we are lucky to have him."

3.5 Stars

Thoughts:
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Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

I got Good Omens on loan from one of my friends this summer and read it pretty quickly due to a combination of plane flights and good writing. She actually lent it to me to convince me to read more Terry Pratchett and to try to convince me that I’ll like Neil Gaiman. For someone who claims to not like Gaiman, I do seem to read a lot of him, ha.

Title: Good Omens
Author: Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Pages: 412 paperback
Genre-ish: Apocalyptic comedy
Setting: Our world for the most part, but demons and angels hang around drinking wine together and there is a book of prophecies that are quite nice and accurate according to the witch who wrote it. Oh and it’s sometime in the future, exactly one week before the apocalypse.
Premise: The main characters include an angel trying to avert the apocalypse, a demon who realized he kind of likes the Earth the way it is, and the son of Satan who got mixed up when he was a baby and might not be as evil as was planned.

Strengths:

  • Very well written, couldn’t put it down, which was convenient since I was reading it on a plane
  • Laugh out loud funny at times, as you would expect from these authors
  • Clever, they incorporated a lot of the mythical apocalypse stuff in fresh ways, such as the four horse(wo!)men riding motorcycles and not quite being the original myths
  • If you like Gaiman’s cooky characters and ideas, then you won’t be disappointed

Weaknesses:

  • I didn’t get very attached to the main characters, partially because they were all male, and partially because I just can’t get attached to characters that Gaiman writes apparently
  • I had a strange feeling of “Huh, why did I just read that?” when I was done, because again Gaiman has a style of characters and world that I just don’t care about, despite the fact that the writing was very compelling
  • It does stomp on modern day religious beliefs a bit, so if you will be insulted by that, probably not a good idea

Summary:
Like I said above, I read this book quite quickly over the course of a vacation and a few days, because the writing is very compelling and funny. However, I feel absolutely no wish to re-read the book ever or read sequels if there were any because I simply didn’t get attached to the characters or the world at all, though I think this is just something that happens when I read Gaiman. The plot is interesting and rich, the writing is good, and if you like Gaiman then you should definitely read this book. If you don’t like Gaiman, like me, you’ll probably still enjoy it, but maybe not LOVE it like a lot of people do.

What did you think? I know a lot of people have different opinions about this book so I’d love to hear yours. Also, I should probably return this copy that I’ve had for several months now, oops :-).

-A

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

The first exposure I had to Neil Gaiman was reading Stardust while tromping around Germany in high school. It was an interesting experience. It took me a bit of talking to people to realize that Gaiman was aiming for a trippy experience that purposefully broke the confines of traditional writing (or something like that). Then I read American Gods when I was in Germany the second time (I’m sensing a strange theme….) and I enjoyed it much much more. I also find it amusing that my dad had been trying to get me to read it for ages and it took homesickness to finally make me listen. That and it was one of the only books that I had heard of in the English fiction section of the German bookstore. It’s still a bit trippy, but it is a road trip in book form with some old gods thrown in for variety, which is about what you would expect from Gaiman.

Title: American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
Length: 588 pages (paperback)

Strengths:

  • Interesting, out-of-the-box, but well done characters
  • It takes place in real towns in the US
  • The plot is trippy but very interesting and as long as you accept that it won’t be perfectly logical, you’ll probably have a good time
  • Who doesn’t love random gods from random old religions popping up?
  • While we’re on it, who doesn’t love learning about all of the most random tourist attractions in the states.

Weaknesses:

  • I don’t really remember the end of the plot, but I think it got much more illogical toward the end, and I definitely don’t remember how things all ended up being connected, which could be meaningless, or a bad sign
  • No romance, all trippy comedy (not necessarily a bad thing, just saying)
  • It’s a bit long when I look at it again, though it didn’t seem long at the time, but that could just be the homesickness

Summary: It was a New York Times bestseller for a reason. It really is a good read if you are all right with feeling a bit disoriented at times when you are reading, and from the Neil Gaiman I’ve read, it’s the tamest so far (of the two I’ve read >.>). I always find references to old gods from dead religions highly entertaining and interesting, and the way they explain things about what happens to gods when their religions die out actually makes a lot of sense. It’s a pretty easy read, though not a fast one unless you have nothing to do while you sit on a bus.