Author Rating: A D

Fragile Things (read 12/8/12) NOT recommended

I’ve had this growing irritation with Neil Gaiman for a long time but it’s finally reached the point where I cannot read his work. I still think Anansi Boys and American Gods are top-notch, but Gaiman isn’t interested in really being a good writer, he is strictly in it for the fame and recognition. This book of short stories is the perfect example. If you suffer through the TWENTY-FIVE-PAGE-LONG introduction, you will have learned about all the UNEXPECTED AWARDS Gaiman has received for the stories and that in spite of how hard he tries to fail everything just keeps coming up roses!

After being thoroughly annoyed by the introduction, I threw the book aside after barely starting to read the first story. This is not excellent writing, it’s bells and whistles.

Anansi Boys (read 7/07; recorded book 2/16/09) Recommended

In my opinion Anansi Boys, published in 2005, is the best of all of Neil Gaiman’s novels. It is the story of Fat Charlie Nancy and his brother Spider, sons of the spider Anansi, trickster and spinner of tales.

Fat Charlie and his brother, separated at a young age, meet again, long after their mother has died and shortly after their father has died. Spider causes all kinds of problems for Fat Charlie, but when Charlie tries to make his brother go away he finds that there are worse things than a trickster brother.

Half of the world Gaiman creates in Anansi Boys is that of gods and myths going back to before man had tools, the other half in London, Florida and the island of Saint Andrews in the Caribbean.

It is wonderfully written. The sound of the island accent is strong and well done. The line between reality and magic artfully smudged. I highly recommend this book to you.

I have just finished listening to Anansi Boys in recorded-book form, read by Lenny Henry, a British actor with whom I was familiar through his role in the 1990s British sitcom Chef! Henry does an absolutely brilliant reading. He does great justice to all the characters — Anansi, the four old ladies, Spider and Fat Charlie, Charlie’s fiancee Rosie, Tiger, Bird, and all the others, each one distinct and individual from the rest.

The recorded book is made up of eight CDs of approximately an hour’s length each.

Whether you read it yourself or allow Lenny Henry to read to you, make time in your life for the experience. You will be glad you did.

Neverwhere (read 7/07) Agnostic

Compared to other books by Gaiman, this was a disappointment.

American Gods (read 7/18/07) Recommended


Coraline (read 3/6/08) Agnostic

As compared to some of Gaiman’s others, this is disappointing. He’s trying a little bit too hard, it seems to me.

Good Omens (Read 8/18/07) Recommended

Written with Terry Pratchett. I have always been a bit leery of co-authored books, Gaiman and Pratchett really pull it off. At the time I finished reading I noted, “Definitely worth locating a first edition.”