Author: Neil Gaiman
I should really write these things before I forget what I’m talking about…
Anansi Boys is much easier read than American Gods, and so lacks some of the depth that made that one so good, but it is easy to see that they are written by the same author. It has some of the same mystery as American Gods, with such tantalizing tidbits as, “Later, when birds were something to be afraid of, Fat Charlie would still remember that morning as something good and something fine, but also as the place where it all started. Before the Madness, before the fear,” from the first chapter. At that point I felt sure that this would live up to my great expectations.
It has its darker moments, like its big brother, but I found myself paying more attention to the little humorous bits. Whereas Gaiman plays with mythology and mystery in American Gods, here there’s more of a Douglas Adams style playfullness; “Fat Charlie could think of nothing worse than having to attend a party, thrown by his father with a jazz bnad.” The detective story elements often put me in mind of Adams’s Dirk Gently, with little quirks of observation that could have been straight out of Hitchhiker. And for that it’s quite enjoyable.
But don’t read this expecting either something as deep as American Gods nor as lighthearted as Dirk Gently, for you will only be disappointed. It is something all its own, with elements of both and some of its own.