On the phone again, so brief and typ0-fi11ed.
So I finished up Anansi Boys today. It’s a sort-of sequel to American Gods. I say sort of because not really. It follows the sons of Mr. Nancy (Anansi) from American Gods, but other than that, they’re separate stories. They’re just different songs on the same album.
I didn’t review American Gods on here, so cliffnotes: The gods of myth are real. All of them. Sort of. Ancient gods contend with new gods of technology. But really, it’s a roadtrip book with an ex-con working for one of the old gods.
Loved the book, but it’s not a light read. It’s heavy stuff, steeped in belief systems and multiple mythologies.
Knowing Anansi Boys is in that universe and is about old gods in a new world, including two sons of said Anansi finding each other, it felt like another roadtrip through old myths. I actually dodged it for a while because I wasn’t looking for something that heavy.
And I was dead wrong.
The book follows a man who turns out to be the son of a recently deceased god (not a spoiler; it’s on the description) and also finds out he has a brother.
There’s much more humor here than American Gods. And it makes sense. Anansi is a trickster god, so this is a trickster book. It has a different feel to it.
When I build playlists, I look for songs that have a certain feel: chill, angst, etc. An artist can show up in multiple places. Gaiman does that for me a lot. American Gods is dark and brooding. Neverwhere is a whimsical Alice in Wonderland-type. Stardust is the fairytale. Anansi Boys is the trickster story. The comedy.
The books follows multiple POVs, but Fat Charlie Nancy is the put-upon lead character. It’s through his eyes and ears we follow myths come to life. Whereas Shadow is mostly there for the ride in American Gods, Fat Charlie is looking to get off the ride, please, if it’s not too much bother.
American Gods feels very unsettled, especially how it ends (in a good way), whereas Anansi Boys feels like a more typical novel in its arc and structure.
I don’t know if it’s a BETTER book, but it is more fun to read of the two. I loved both, and highly recommend either.
As for me, I guess I’ll mine the Gaiman catalog further if I can, and otherwise I’ll be reading Neal Stephenson (Anathem) and Nick Hornby (Juliet, Naked) books next. Adios.