Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Seeing what the fuss is all about

I only read Neil Gaiman after seeing the movie Stardust, and then, hearing all the praise for what an imaginative prophet of modern life he is, I thought I should read some of his more serious work. (Stardust, while fun, is decidedly a light novel.) Having now read Anansi Boys and most of American Gods, I think I can pronounce that he is good, if not quite as earth-shaking as I'd been led to believe. Anansi Boys in particular manages to balance myth with a lot of real-world themes like failed parenting, individualism, finding a truly suitable partner in your life, and so forth, while being a good fun adventure chasing crooks around the world. Anansi's son, Charlie, leads a very boring life in London, which is turned upside down when his more godlike brother shows up... and turns out to be, quite literally, his better half -- or at least more fun, more daring, and more problematic than anyone could imagine, forcing Charlie to become pretty godlike himself. It's fun.

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