Being the contrary person I am, I’ve been avoiding reading Neil Gaiman for much the same reason I avoided seeing the movie Jaws many years ago: Hype. When Jaws was released, it seemed like everywhere you turned, there it was; fin in the water, dum-dum-dum-dum echo in the air. Everyone, their mothers, their mother’s parakeet, were lining up around the block of every movie theater in town to see it. You couldn’t have a conversation with someone without the movie coming up. And heaven forbid you should mention that you hadn’t seen it nor had any inclination to. People would cover their mouths and move away from you as if you were carrying the plague.
Amongst the folks I hang out with in the Internet world, Neil Gaiman has been, for me, the writers equivalent of Jaws. It’s always Neil this and Neil that. Did you read American Gods? Awesome. I think Neverwhere was a better book. No, no, Anansi Boys is his best ever. Have you read the Sandman series? The best graphic novel out there. Neil’s oh so multi-talented. Neil’s oh so cute.
Neil’s oh so fucking young!
It was fifteen years before I finally saw Jaws. I have to admit I’m glad I didn’t wait that long to read Neil Gaiman.
I just finished Anansi Boys and what a ride it was. Yep, this guy is talented. The language, the description, the pace, all of it first rate. And tight? The story was like a finally tuned string on a National guitar with not a single sour note from page 1 through page 334. Not bad for a story that weaves fiction and fantasy together like a fine Navajo rug.
And funny? Try pants wetting funny. I laughed my ass off. Kind of reminded me of some of Christopher Moore’s early work.
I guess this means I’m going to have to agree with all the Gaiman Gushers. I can live with that as long as no one expects me to drool over his good looks.