Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Today is a good day. Today is the day that Neil Gaiman released his most recent book, Anansi Boys, to the teeming, unwashed masses of fans who like to pretend they aren’t really nerds but who also have a collection of pocket protectors and un-opened Luke Sywalker figurines stashed away in a hidden place somewhere at home. I am one of these people, except I don’t actually have the aforementioned items of modern geekery. I only wish I did.
After reading Neverwhere, and then reading and re-reading American Gods, neil Gaiman has shot to the top five list of authors whose books I will purchase, sight unseen, whenever their works are published. Another favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut, released a book this month, catching me completely by surprise. This is understandable, however, given that he’s is practically 187 years old and has said on several occasions that he will never publish another word as long as he lives.
He’s a Socialist, though, so you can’t expect to hold him to any kind of standard.
I read the first chapter of Ananzi Boys this afternoon while eating lunch, and I am pleased to report that the book has thus far lived up to its predecessors. The main character, Fat Charlie, reminisces on the life of his father, who was a large man, fond of drink and women, whose nicknames for things followed them the rest of their days. The descriptions of Fat Charlie’s father seem like a Cajun version of Pan or Loki, but since Gaiman already used Loki in his last book (and if you haven’t read American Gods, I may have just given away the ending), I’m guessing this isn’t the case.
There is, of course, the obvious reference to the Ashanti Anansasem myths. His sister, Bia, appears in Greek mythology as the bird that eats Prometheus’s liver each morning as part of a punishment from Zeus. Bia goes under a different name there, but I think the Ashanti recognized it as the same. At any rate, there have been some mentions of birds as evil characters to be feared. Perhaps this will come into play. If a large man who goes by the name of Hercules or Heracles or perhaps just Harry shows up at the end and shoots Bia with an arrow, I will feel very intelligent and adept in my abilities to predict the outcome of the story. If not, oh well. It will be a good read nonetheless