Anansi Boys

People take on the shapes of the songs and the stories that surround them, especially if they don’t have their own song”

I’ll keep this short and simple. Remember how happy I was when I read American Gods? Well, from that happiness a sort of fear of disappointment derived – I was afraid I might not like this…spin-off tale quite as much. But, boy was I wrong! (And in such cases, it’s always good to be wrong 😀 ) The story is hilarious and the characters are so easy to relate to. After all, let’s face it, unless it’s a Gilmore-perfect universe, we’ve all been embarrassed by our parents. And we’ve also done stuff just because our parents didn’t agree. And haven’t we all taken a trip to the beginning of the Universe just to get rid of a very annoying sibling? Well, maybe not that, but for the rest, it sure works. The perfect summer reading.

Spider and Charlie make up the always funny & charming duo of two opposed characters who end up to be the best of friends (or brothers, in this case). Very Lethal Weapon. Very 48hrs. Very good. Their surprising encounter digs up a long and odd family history, as their father is none other than the African spider-god Anansi (Mr. Nancy – as he is known in American Gods), the original trickster and the one who currently owns all the stories and songs (which he’s stolen from Tiger, a god with many years’ worth of a grudge). It’s very fitting that a spider god should be in charge of stories, but Tiger is not really into the folksy sayings that combine the words “web” and “story” very closely. And Charlie and Spider are as different as they come – the accountant and the freelancer (for lack of a better word, after all, Spider has inherited his father’s many abilities and he hasn’t done a day’s work), but in store for them is the death of their father, a shared fiancee, a magical meeting with the Bird Woman and Charlie’s maniacal, murderous boss. Of course they turn out on the other side of it all transformed – you can spot it a mile away, but in the meantime, it’s all about the journey and you will laugh, you will cry (not really, it’s just a  figure of speech), you will be disgusted to the point of throwing up (especially if your tolerance of spiders circles around 0) 😀 .

Confused? Wikipedia has the plot nicely told, so you can check it out there. But it’s better to read the book, because you’re in for a real adventure 😉


~ by ameer on June 24, 2008.

5 Responses to “Anansi Boys”

  1. hehe, told ya 😉

  2. You are wise, my friend 😀

  3. Heh, brings back memories 😀
    The quote above, about shapes and songs, reminds me of the beginning of the book: “It begins, as most things begin, with a song.”

    And I’m thinking (probably over-thinking) that Anansi’s Boys isn’t just an adventure, it’s more like a song, or the beginning of one. Charlie’s tune. It’s got that song motif all over, and when I was through with it I remember I listened to “The Drifters – Under the Broadwalk” for a while, because it was mentioned quite a few times in the novel (now I’m not exactly sure, because I forget easily, so help me out please 😀 ). And they had the same rhythm, I think, the song and the story, which was brilliant.

  4. @Robert: Yup, he mentions that song quite a bit, used to be Charlie’s favorite. And I thought too about the book being in itself Charlie’s life-song – and I loved the idea. In fact, that first phrase you’re mentioning got me thinking about Tolkien’s Silmarillion, which is where I first encounterd the whole “world built through song” idea 😀

  5. Well done! I enjoyed reading your post!

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