Anansi Boys

Gaimen’s latest.

Anyone else read this? It felt kind of “meh” to me. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. It just didn’t draw me in like some of his previous stuff.


Starcraft Ii Replay

I got it. It’s waiting for completion of “Murder of Crows” and probably the new Takeshi Kovaks novel as well.

Is that Woken Furies Andrew? I just finished it and I still don’t know how I feel about it :). Post some impressions when you are done.

Will do. It’s going to be a little bit though. I’ve got more media than I know what to do with.

I have a week off at Xmas, and I may have to spend the whole thing just to catch up.

I liked it, though I find it really hard to tell what genre this could be. The story itself wasn’t as gripping as his usual stuff, and the mixture of comedy, mythology and crime didn’t click with me.

“Meh” pretty much cinches it. They’re completely different books, but it’s also my reaction to American Gods. Gaiman’s not a terribly interesting prose writer to me by any genre/non-genre standards, though I haven’t read Good Omens, which all those Pratchett fans swear by. I think Neil was at his best while still in the thick of plundering folk-mythology to popularize “sequential art for adults.” Sure, that dog won’t hunt forever, and if we never had another Sandman book it wouldn’t be too soon, but that’s where his breakthrough niche was, if you ask me. Everything since has been more revealing about what he can’t do as well, IMO, but I’m sure the usual gang will still give Anansi a Hugo or World Fantasy nod and keep it (and Neil) on everyone’s must-read lists.

I like his way of plundering mythology to tell his stories, but I’d agree that the book was “meh” to “pretty good”, but just not anything overwhelming. I was more impressed with American Gods, but am still happy to have the book. I’d agree that we need to get him back to writing a new comic of some sort. He’s done well there, and I’d like to see it happen again.

I loved it, but I’m a total Gaiman fanboy.

Just finished this one. I liked it a lot better than American Gods because it was a "small’ story within a much larger context and because it was a lot more readable to me. But yeah, still not great by any measure. He was definitely trying to channel the ghost of Douglas Adams with the Brittish-style humor, improbable coincidences, goofy characters, and long-suffering leading male who’s easy to identify with. Still, there were a few genuinely laugh-out-loud moments and I really liked Fat Charlie’s character arc. Gaiman just seemed sloppy (or maybe just incomplete) in his myth-building this time around, though. It seemed like the rules went wherever they needed to go to serve the story. The one thing I really did like is how the different gods take ownership of the stories that people tell and how that affects (or is affected by) history.

And by the way, wasn’t Anansi in American Gods? I very clearly remember a spider god with lemon yellow gloves, but I can’t remember what his name was or how he behaved.

I enjoyed it well enough, but not enough to call it great or even really good. I enjoyed the heck out of Neverwhere and especially Stardust, but American Gods and Anansi Boys just felt a bit dull in comparison to me.

Read it and enjoyed it at release, but yea its not spectacular. Everything he’s done up to this point save the children’s books has been mythologically dense and dark, and this was his attempt at making a more upbeat and mainstream novel. On the whole I don’t think it worked so well, and it generally came off as more like Coraline for adults than as a spiritual successor to his other adult works.

Sandman 10/10
American Gods 9/10
Neverwhere 8/10
Stardust 8/10
Anansi Boys 6/10

I saw Gaiman at a signing about a month ag, and I recall him saying somehing about deliberately trying not to write like DA, or Terry pratchett, or any one else in particular.

That said, he said he was (during the tour) reading a recently published omnibus of Alan Coren’s comedy writings, and realized that both he and the above-named writers were all hugely influenced by Coren.

And by the way, wasn’t Anansi in American Gods? I very clearly remember a spider god with lemon yellow gloves, but I can’t remember what his name was or how he behaved.

Yes, Mr. Nancy had a brief appearance in American Gods. Gaiman already had the beginnings of Anansi Boys worked out before he started work on AG, so he “borrowed” him for the earlier-completed book.