My TBR Challenge 2008 book for January was Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. I did say there was a story behind each of these books, so I will now relate the story behind this one.
I love Neil Gaiman. I've loved Neil Gaiman for longer than I've known my husband. I discovered Neil Gaiman through my brother, who has introduced me to so many good writers, books, movies and comic books. That's right, I said comic books (I'm a bit of a geek*). Or in the case of Neil Gaiman, graphic novels. Neil Gaiman wrote The Sandman comic books/graphic novels, which are incredible. He has also written quite a few novels, including Anansi Boys. Neil Gaiman is extremely imaginative, coming up with new and unique plots, and he is dark, delving into places of the mind and psyche that many dare not go.
Even if you don't like the science fiction/fantasy genre, there are a few sci-fi/fantasy novels that are such amazing books that they transend the genre and are just great books period**. The way Battlestar Galactica is more than just a great sci-fi show--it's a great show. One of these books is Neil Gaiman's American Gods. It's one of the best books out there, and I recommend it to everyone.
So, my point is I love Neil Gaiman and everything he's written. This book came out in 9/2005, and I bought it shortly after. That's right, over 2 years ago. Londo read it right away and proclaimed it another excellent book by Neil Gaiman. But I still haven't read it. Why not? Why wouldn't I read one of my favorite authors? It was because I Wasn't Myself! This was one of those things I simply wasn't in the mood for while pregnant and during the early months of having a baby. Now, I'm back to being mostly myself, so it's the first one I've selected from the stack to read. Cause I missed me, and I missed Neil Gaiman!
I finished the book pretty quickly, and the book was fantastic.
Once again, Gaiman writes a great book, with an interesting plot, well-rounded characters and surprises that I didn't see coming. Some I did see coming, but as Londo and I agree, Gaiman likely intended the readers to see those coming. This story, like his others, is so well written, with things you don't suspect as important coming into play later. Things you might overlook become key to the plot, and you realize just how tight of a story it is. And that's how I like my stories.
I'm not going to sum up what the book was about. I used to hate doing book reports because I felt like I was just re-writing what was written on the back of the book. If you want to know what it was about, read the back of the book. Then, buy the book and read the whole thing. It was definitely worth it.
*I will just fess up that I'm a HUGE geek, especially in the area of sci-fi/fantasy/comics. Those of you who are not into these things, I challenge you to expand your horizons and discover the amazing stories that reflect our world in the form of other worlds. I've got a whole schpiel, but this isn't the time for it.
**My number 1 example of this type of book is Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, which I've recommended to many people who look at me skeptically because they don't like sci-fi and come back to me within the week saying they stayed up all night finishing the book. It's that good. Hmmm, I should re-read that.
(Combined and edited from two posts original originally on Cara Mama.)