Neil Gaiman wears many hats. He wrote the stunningly devised Sandman graphic novel series. He has dabbled in the film world, most recently with the beautiful and mesmerizing Mirrormask. And he has won awards for his written work, both in adult science fiction/fantasy and in his books for children. He is an artist so inventive and worldly that his product often cannot be categorized easily. In fact, the kudos displayed on the back of his recent book, ANANSI BOYS, brings high praise from authors whose realms Gaiman frequents but never stays in --- Susanna Clarke (fiction/fantasy), Christopher Moore (humorous fiction), and Peter Straub (horror). It is this cross-section of the literature world that easily exemplifies what you will find within the covers of this eagerly awaited new novel.
While Gaiman has produced a string of quality work, it was 1991's AMERICAN GODS that blew away critics and readers worldwide. Now he has returned to the universe of AMERICAN GODS yet spins a tale that is not a clear sequel but more of a snippet of a life plucked and set on its own stage. And it certainly produces.
Mr. Nancy is Fat Charlie's dad. He is also the African trickster god, Anansi. When Mr. Nancy dies, estranged Charlie flies to Florida to pay his respects, having never known that his father was more than just an annoying man with the ability to make his life miserable. Things go wrong, as they always do for Charlie, and after learning of his father's otherworldly power, he also discovers that he has a brother. The only way he can meet him is to summon him, and to do so he must ask a spider to bring him by the house. Disbelieving, as any logical person would, Charlie speaks to a spider and requests his brother to come by.
Imagine Charlie's surprise when his brother, Spider, stops by, bringing with him a series of downward spirals that hurl Charlie headlong into disaster. With the world on the precipice of doom, Charlie seeks help to enter the spirit world and set right all that has begun to go wrong.
Gaiman's true gift in his writing is his ability to take no