Blog, Reviews

Blog Entry No. 14 – Anansi Boys

Dear readers,

today is the birthday of a very special person, my best friend and partner in every dumb idea I have, therefore I want to dedicate him this blog post by writing about Anansi Boys, a book he recommended and lent me. Love you loads Hefti Boy, thank’s for everything. ❤

Many of you might know the author of the book: Neil Gaiman (*1960). He is a British writer of Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, comics and screenplays. Maybe you have seen Good Omens? It’s a series you find on Amazon Prime with Michael Sheen and David Tennant in the leading roles. The novel this series is based on was written in 1990 by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
Anansi Boys was firstly published in 2005 by William Morrow, HarperCollins Publishers in New York. The book I read and used for the pictures is a German distribution translated by Karsten Singelmann. It was printed in 2011 and published by Wilhelm Heyne publishing house in Munich. Often it is portrayed as the second part of American Gods (published 2001), but I think it is easily readable without reading American Gods before.

By comparing those two covers, I definetly like the German edition more. It is simple and elegant. Both covers show the most essential element of the Story: Anansi, a god, the spider. Personally, I’m no huge fan of little, crawling animals that have more than four legs, so I’m really not sure if that book would have caught my attention in a book store or a library. But as I’m no arachnophobic ether and now read and loved the book, I nearly enjoy looking at the cover because I know the story behind it.

That’s the cover I found at goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2744.Anansi_Boys?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=KG6NUnJFxh&rank=1), so I guess that’s one of the more original covers. If you want to see the other editions just look at goodreads, there are nearly all editions shown.

Anansi Boys tells the story of Fat Charlie, a young man who always had some kind of difficult relationship to his father Anansi. As Anansi dies, finds Fat Charlie out, that he had a god as father and a vanished twin brother. And old lady tells him how to contact his brother and as he did so and his brother Spider moved in at Charlie’s, the chaos starts when the main character tries to get rid of his brother. It’s a book full of music and of stories, a mystical and romantic Fantasy tale. My favourite scene is Spider telling his brother how he prepared for their first meeting, he wanted to talk in rhymes, but found only the first line (For all my German-speaking readers I can quote it from page 95: “Blut ruft nach seinesgleichen wie Sirenen in der Nacht”) and ended up with “Tum-tumpty-tumpty-tumpty hat ihm Angst gemacht” (I guess in the original it’s something like “scared him out”). It shows so perfectly well the mixture of seriousness and humour that this book is written with.

With a capturing writing style, Neil Gaiman whisks the reader away in a world full of stories, imagination and magic. But this world is more than just fantastic, it is also thrilling and at some points a bit spooky. All in all, it’s a great story packed in a gorgeous style, but that’s it. Anansi Boys is an amusing Tale, but it’s not very deep. It doesn’t need to because it wouldn’t fit the kind of book it is, but it is the reason why I probably won’t read it again many times too. If you’re looking for a book to read for enjoyment, to sit down in the evenings and escape your everyday life, it is a perfect choice. If you’re looking for a book that makes you rethink your entire existence, it’s not.

I hope you have enough time to read a bit now as it gets cold outside (last weekend the first snow fell at home, it made my soo happy, just like Lorelai in Gilmore Girls [one of my all-time favourite series, it’s so wonderful, romantic and real]) and cosy inside and the Christmas time started.
I wish you all a great time,
Aly