Thursday, November 24, 2005

Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman does Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency... and as if I have to say it; thats a good thing. Neil tells us in the afterword that hes deliberately reaching for comedy here, more than in some of his other darker things, and also that he thinks Douglas Adams is one of two true geniuses that hes ever met. It shows. This book has Adams' quirky sense of the unreal being real, but does it with Gaiman's sense of story and myth.

Its the story of a boy and his God... or his dad... whichever. It draws heavily on the rich African myths of Anansi, who is a sort of trickster/creator god like the Coyote of various native american tribes. Hes not good, hes not bad, he just is. He gets himself into trouble, and then gets out of it again. Sometimes he dies. But hes about being clever - sometimes too clever for his own good - not about being fierce, and so the world ends up a bit bemusing and bewildering, but not so much terrifying. Which rather describes the book as well - definitely worth a re-read.


Blogger Baggy Trousers said...

He's talking to Will Anderson next monday - you should come! See comment at battle.

12:46 AM  
Blogger Baggy Trousers said...

PS, i really enjoyed it. Espec. after reading American Gods first.

12:47 AM  

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