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Anansi Boys

I hope everyone is enjoying the east coast feed of Supernatural! I'm about to take off to my friend's place to watch the west feed (or the PVRed, east feed)...so, I'll be posting my quick reaction later, as usual, yay!

Anyway, I just finished Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Since I posted about American Gods, I figured I should post about this one too.

I liked it. It's hard to say whether I liked it more or less than American Gods, because the two books were very different. Anansi Boys is far less dense and far more traditionally-novelly (if that makes any sense). American Gods, I thought, had a bit of a wonky format, but Anansi Boys didn't feel that way...it was more story and less world-building perhaps.

(Oh, when I posted about American Gods, I forgot to say how much I loved the little short stories between chapters sometimes...especially the New York Cabbie one...that one was so deliciously perfect and creepy).

It occurred to me, while reading Anansi Boys, that I usually only read books about white people...I had never noticed this until now. I'm trying to figure out if this is the first time I ever read a story that had non-white protagonists. Way to live in a bubble of Caucasian-ness, me.

The other thing I thought I would mention is that the narrator of my audiobook was fantastic. The book was read by Lenny Henry, and I know nothing about him, except that his reading of this book was one of the best readings of a book I've ever heard. I'd put him right up there with Jim Dale (is that right?) - the dude who reads the Harry Potter books. Actually, I'd go so far as to rank him even slightly above that...I especially liked his voice to Tiger, it was PURRRRFECT...and really, he had everyone perfect. It was really well done. I wonder if you can search audiobooks by narrator? 

So, yes, Anansi Boys was a good book...and I'm really glad I decided that Dean was a fan of this book in that drabble I wrote the other week. It fits him perfectly. 


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to say that I did not enjoy Supernatural tonight, but that was no fault of Supernatural-it was the damn channel! There have been moments of static and short sound cut offs before, but tonight it went too far. Not even halfway through the episode the sound cut completely off until the end of the episode (and may still be off now, I don't know). I put closed captions on, but it wasn't the same....I'm definitely going to have to rewatch it (not that I wouldn't anyway, but now that rewatch will be much sooner than it would have been).

On a good note, I really want to read some Neil Gaiman works-I have Good Omens, but haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I will! Your comments make me want to read them more!
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:09 am (UTC)
Sorry to hear that :(

I've not read Good Omens. I'm sort of limited by what I can find on the cheap for audiobooks. Now that I'm done Anansi Boys, I'm not sure what I'll read next. I was thinking of maybe trying out some Agatha Christie, but I'm a little concerned it might be boring.
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:28 am (UTC)
Agatha Christie isn't bad, I've read a few of her books and it can be fun to try and figure out who the killer is.

Good Omens is an awesome novel.
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:37 am (UTC)
Good to know! As a kid I stayed away from Agatha Christie because I didn't like mysteries...but I have a feeling my tastes have changed. If my love of Sherlock is anything to go by anyway :P
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:45 am (UTC)
I've always been a lover of mysteries since my gran was as well and we'd watch them together when I went there on holiday. That and watching too much Murder She Wrote.

Your best bet is to go with either Miss Marple or Poirot as they are a lot more interesting then her one time only stuff.
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:51 am (UTC)
I remember watching Poirot as a kid...I think I liked him. I was too young to really understand the plot, I think, but I liked the character.

My gran was a lover of golf...not really something we could share in :P
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:43 am (UTC)
DUDE. Read Agatha Christie! Seriously! Some of the later books are less intriguing, but here are some recs:

The Mysterious Affair at Styles [available on Project Gutenberg]
Poirot Investigates [short stories]
Murder on the Orient Express
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Cards on the Table
The Big Four
The Murder at the Vicarage
The Thirteen Problems (The Tuesday Club Murders) [short stories]
The Body in the Library
At Bertram's Hotel
A Caribbean Mystery
Nemesis [to which Dean's last conversation with Death in 6.11 bears a striking resemblance]
The Secret Adversary [available on Project Gutenberg]
Partners in Crime [short stories--VERY funny in places!]
And Then There Were None
Three Blind Mice and Other Stories [short stories]
Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories [short stories]
The Seven Dials Mystery

Ahem. Sorry, lifelong fan. :D You might also enjoy the Cat Who... books by Lillian Jackson Braun (the reader on the audiobooks is wonderful) and the World War I series by Anne Perry--I devoured four of the five books in 24 hours, they're that good.
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:48 am (UTC)
Haha, ok ok!

Thanks for the recommendations! I will definitely see if my library has those!

My older sister was a huge Agatha Christie fan when she was in high school. At the time, I had convinced myself that I hated both mystery and fantasy genres...so, I never went near them. In recent years, I've come to the conclusion that I probably would actually enjoy mystery novels (since my best friend forced me to read fantasy novels and I liked those)...so yeah, I'll definitely look into Agatha...

Also, thanks for recommending a book for which you already know that the audiobook is good! Yay! Hopefully my library has the audiobooks of those too! So few people seem to read audiobooks these days, yet they are my main source of books, because I don't have time to read printed words! :P
Feb. 12th, 2011 06:06 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed!
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:10 am (UTC)
Me too!

I haven't read the book that your icon quote comes from...but I've seen the quote before and I love it.
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:19 am (UTC)
It's very weird humor, i.e. strange British humor, lol. Good Omens is awesome cause you have two styles woven together and it's just full of win.

I went on a Gaiman kick after reading that. It was the gateway book for me. ;D
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:24 am (UTC)
I like British humour. Well...I'm assuming I like British humour, because I was introduced to reading through Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Red Dwarf (the books).

It was the one he wrote with Pratchett right? I've read a Pratchett book before...I remember devouring it pretty quickly, but I can't actually remember much about it. Alas, my local library does not have Good Omens or any Pratchett in audiobook form.

For me, Supernatural was the gateway to Gaiman...since I really wanted to know what people were complaining about with Hammer of the Gods. Turns out, in my opinion, they had nothing to complain about...though I do thank them for recommending the books.
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:36 am (UTC)
It depends with me. I actually do like a lot of British humor and then I get flogged because quite a bit of Monty Python is just NOT funny to me. idk

He did write Good Omens with Pratchett. Sorry about the library but it is definitely worth the buy in paperback. The stories about how many people have bought multiple paperbacks alone are worth it. lol

Supernatural is great thing to open new areas of research. I knew of Gaiman but I hadn't read anything but when Kripke was talking influences and we got to Crowley, I HAD to check it out.
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:41 am (UTC)
Well, maybe I'll see how much it costs...in paperback or audiobook. If it's anything like the Pratchett book I read, I could probably devour it in paperback pretty quickly. Though, that wouldn't solve my need for audiobooks...but audiobooks tend to be more expensive, so I try to stick with what the library has for those. I was lucky they had Anansi Boys.

Makes me wonder what blind people do...they're library selections are so limited.

But yeah, Supernatural really opens up a of new research...at least, once you become enough of a fan to be interested in influences...it almost made me want to read Milton's Paradise Lost :P (but I'm not that crazy, thankfully)
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:51 am (UTC)
My mom was a part-time companion to an elderly lady with macular degeneration for a few years, and one of her jobs was ordering audiobooks, so I know that there are several free audiobook programs for the visually impaired here in the States--the Library of Congress has one, and so does the state of Texas. And there's always Interlibrary Loan, and LibriVox for the technically savvy. But yes, if one is limited to only the local public library, the pickings can be slim. :P
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:55 am (UTC)
Oh good...I'm glad people are looking out for the blind. I'm just a busy sighted-person, so I really shouldn't complain. :P
Feb. 12th, 2011 11:09 am (UTC)
The paperback shouldn't be more than $6-8 US. Idk about the audiobook. I imagine they would be quite a bit more though.

I'm currently awaiting the time and money to go get Paradise Lost and I think Dante's Inferno is on that list as well. ;D

Thanks for the book chat!
Feb. 12th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
Ooo, well, have fun with Paradise Lost! Tell me how it is. I've only heard about it through my Mum who took a university course on it on a dare. :P
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:09 am (UTC)
I thought Stephen Fry did the Harry Potter audio books? Then I am having a Jim Dale recollection. I don't know.

Lenny Henry is a British comedian and a friend of Gaiman - they worked together on the Neverwhere TV series which actually preceded the book I think. I like that book. Henry recently did Othello "oop North" and it was amazing but so different from his usual stuff. He's pretty famous in Britain.
Feb. 12th, 2011 08:13 am (UTC)
Stephen Fry did the British version of the audiobooks. Jim Dale did the American version. I've only ever heard the Jim Dale ones...so, I don't know how they compare to the Stephen Fry versions.

Canada is kind of a weird place to live, because we get a mix of British and American things...so we get the British editions of Harry Potter in print, but we get the American audiobooks. :P

Thanks for the Lenny Henry info! When I went to my friend's place tonight, and mentioned his name, she filled me in too! I didn't even realize he was married to Dawn French. My friend's husband is British, so she's slightly more aware of British things than I am! But yeah, I wish he read more audiobooks...his reading was really amazing. I'm officially a fan, and I haven't even seen him or heard him in anything else.
Feb. 12th, 2011 02:10 pm (UTC)
If you can get Gaiman's "Neverwhere" jump on the chance. Both novel and audiobook are very, very fine.

Also re:mysteries, I know this isn't everyone's dish, but Georgette Heyer (regency romance queen) wrote several manor house English mysteries that I remember more fondly than Christie. I don't know if these are available as audiobooks.

Other recent audiobooks that rocked my world -- any of the Dresden books. James Marsters narrates, and oooohhh baby. He has become the voice of Harry Dresden for me.

Any of the Laurie King Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes stories, from the Beekeeper's Apprentice through O Jerusalem get rave reviews. Classy, top drawer narrator on this series.

Mike Carey's Felix Castor series is unbelievably good, starting with The Devil You Know. Again, superb narrator.

So many books, so little time! Enjoy!
Feb. 12th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I will look into ALL of those. I'm going to need to start a list...
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )