Thursday, June 08, 2006

Anansi Boys

I finished reading Anansi Boys last night, another book by Neil Gaiman. I have mentioned him before as the author of the Sandman comics. I am also an avid reader of his blog. He writes very personally as all of us do on our blog’s and even interacts with reader’s one on one, answering as many questions as he can. He seems like a pretty cool person. And it is hard for me to imagine how a seemingly sane and ordinary fellow can come up with such mind blowing stories.

The story is based around the folk tales of Kweku Anansi the Spider. Growing up in Ghana where I believe the stories originated my care taker Aunty Gladys used to tell me stories about him all the time. Anansi was the trickster God who played wicked tricks to swindle the other animals of the forest out of their food or wine. He was also a care free spider who enjoying womanizing, fishing, drinking, and generally being lazy. All the stories were entertaining and not all of them had a moral. Most of the time Anansi would get away with being a crafty little bastard and sometimes he even died, falling victim to his prey.

Gaiman’s novel is based around these folk tales. Anansi Boys is aptly named as it is about his sons. It is a fantasy novel so there is a lot of magic. It takes place in present time and in the real world as we perceive it. There is conflict as well as humor and mystery. Anansi Boys is a relatively light novel and fun to read. It is amazing how Gaiman has managed to weave these old stories into something that can still entertain the masses. I was also surprised to find that the same stories I grew up listening to were also told by old people in the Caribbean islands. This is not just an amazing story but a story about stories. Through it one can appreciate the value of a good story and story telling. It has different meanings and metaphors on different levels that would definitely intrigue any interested reader. And once again there are numerous connections to Realm of Dream. I do not want to give any of the stories away or affect the perception of anyone who wants to read it, but you guys from Ghana must get a copy and all you guys on The Dream Blog as well.

1 comment:

AmitD said...

Sounds interesting bro. Will definitely get it for sure. I also was exposed to Anansi the spider as a kid so it should spark some good memories for me. Good stuff...