Neil Gaiman: Anansi Boys

God is dead. Meet the kids.

Fat Charlie Nancy’s normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn’t know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother. 

Now brother Spider’s on his doorstep — about to make Fat Charlie’s life more interesting… and a lot more dangerous.

In American Gods, Gaiman set up that gods die when people stop believing in them. Does that mean that they are born in the reverse scenario? Anansi is no longer believed in, so he dies. But now Spider takes his place, and he is similiar, but not really the same. He’s wholly selfish, greedy, and out only for himself. You can see the bits of web being spun, but it’s hard to see the purpose. Everyone gets drawn into it.

I really liked Anansi in American Gods, and the stories that I’ve read about him since, so I was looking forward to Anansi Boys. I assumed it was about his life, or a continuation of American Gods. It’s more of a companion book–and Anansi really doesn’t play much part in it.

Spider and his brother Fat Charlie (who isn’t really fat–I hate character names like that, why do we have to have “fat” be the nickname?) are front and center. Charlie is definitely the prey–he’s just that kind of weak, desk jockey type character, and he’s bland bland bland. But even Spider is completely archetypal and nothing special except that he is SPECIAL, and that’s what makes him boring.

Ugh.

I couldn’t finish it. I was so bored. Come on Gaiman, you’re better than this. I felt like the whole thing was a cop-out after American Gods. Blah.

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