20 January 2011

Book Review 2: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

"There was reality and there was reality; and some things were more real than others." 
Neil Gaiman Anansi Boys Ch. 9

Must... not.. sleep. Must... not... sleep. @_@
Book Review: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Anansi Boys was the first Neil Gaiman novel that I've ever read.  My sister bought it from National Book Store on sale for (50) fifty Pesos. It is about 400 pages.

Anansi Boys is a story of a boy named Fat Charlie. After his estranged father died, he learns through a family friend that his father was a god  and that he actually has a brother. Fat Charlie eventually meets his lost brother named Spider who later on becomes a source of inconvenience. A sort of magic detective adventure tale follows.

I like the the language used in the novel. The dialogues are simple and direct to the point. I like Neil Gaiman's wit. The author deserves his critical acclaim for his  colorful description and detailed expressions.

That said, there are some parts of the story that are hard for me to like. The main character  Fat Charlie, for example, was not believable. It's hard for to relate with his inconsistent personality.  His ill-feelings toward his dead father was also unconvincing. The middle part of the book was a bit boring.

The fact that his father was a god was very hard to believe. The descriptions that  support the "my father as a god" storyline was lacking. Aside from a back story that relates his father to a minor African god from the past, there are no other descriptions that support this claim. This part of the story was very crucial and, for me, was the supposed to be the strongest "hook" of the story. The unifying factor and the greatest strength of the novel was supposed to be its humor, which was unfortunately shallow for my taste.

Should you probably read the book?

Short answer:  -- No.

Exception: You are a fan of Neil Gaiman and you will read anything he writes.

Favorite Quote:
"Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn't a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or too odd. So people live their song instead."
(Anansi Boys) — Neil Gaiman

UP NEXT!: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

List of books to read this year:

1. Maya by Jostein Gaarder - REVIEWED
2. Ulysses by James Joyce
3. The Brothers Karamazov by  Feodor Dostoevsky
4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - NEXT
5. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
7. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
8. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson
9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
10.A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
11. Noli Me Tangere in English by Jose Rizal (can you believe it?) :)
12.  Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman


khantotantra said...

so read the book kung may insomnia at hirap makatulog. wahehehe :P

gillboard said...

not a big fan of gaiman's writings (except for he comics) but i liked this book. took me awhile to finish, but i liked it.

have you read The Graveyard Book? That one's so much better.

Rah said...

@gillboard, It's unfortunate for me that the first Gaiman work that I've read, wasn't his best. Maybe I should read his comics and the graveyard book to get a feel of his writing. Maybe I would have appreciated this book more. noh?

krn said...

another no-no book. i wonder which book would please the panda. :)