Saturday, February 18, 2006

Ego, Superego, and the Arachnid

Not too long ago, I joined the Science Fiction Book Club to see what its editors recommend as the best in new science fiction and fantasy. One of the books included in my new-member package was Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys, his most recent novel.

Similar in many ways to his previous American Gods, the book focuses on the encroach of a mythic past on an unsympathetic present. The novel centers its attention on the two sons of Anansi, a trickster god associated with the spider -- and according to the book, Br'er Rabbit.

After the death of their father, the two brothers need to navigate their new relationship and figure out how to overcome the meddling of the bird woman, an enemy of Anansi, and how to integrate their personalities so their family lineage can continue. It's a solid read, not at all heavy handed in its references, and readers can end up caring enough about the protagonist(s) that it's a need to read until the very end. Gaiman continues his post-modern approach to our mythic and literary predecessors in high style.

A Media Diet iMix featuring songs mentioned in the book is also available.

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