March 27th, 2017

Midnight Beast

Book #15: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Number of pages: 451

At the start of this novel, the main character, Fat Charlie Nancy, loses his dad, who has a heart attack while singing karaoke. However, he is not prepared to learn that his dad is in fact the spider god, Anansi.

Things soon get bizarre when Fat Charlie meets a man named Spider, who claims to be his brother, and looks exactly like him. It isn't long before Spider is taking over Fat Charlie's life, getting him fired from his job and also seducing his fiancee.

When I read this book, I really had no idea what direction it was going in, and it kept me guessing all the time; for example, I wondered whether Spider was meant to be a likeable character, and how the plot involving Fat Charlie's very dislikeable boss was going to fit in with the rest of the narrative. The story ended up with references to witchcraft and other occult practices and also the notion that birds and spiders are involved in a long-running battle against each other.

As I expected from Neil Gaiman, this book was very dark at times, although unlike the previous title I read, "The Ocean at the End of the Lane", this was also hilariously funny at places, and I noticed that the narrative was quite effective at switching very abruptly from dark, ominous situations to moments of high comedy; for example, a scene where Fat Charlie ends up singing karaoke in the middle of a hostage situation.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and found that all the various plot strands dovetailed into each other at the end, making for a satisfying read.

Next book: The X-Files: Skin by Ben Mezrich