I'm still not sure where I stand with fantasy as a genre. I like "The Hobbit" but I think that's because I've been told it's a classic and I read it when I was young so the whole fantasy world was more believable to me then. I was always afraid of being the girl who couldn't stop reading fantasy and from that couldn't function in reality. "The Golden Compass" was a little too fictional for me. I truly tried to become involved in Lyra's world... and I know that in each fantasy book there is an entire world to first learn and then become enthralled in. The subject of "dust" and people's souls was just too strange. There was nothing that I really grew attached to.
"Anansi Boys", however was very fluid in the way it was written and much like a sitcom. I really appreciate horror so I was instantly hooked when the gore part of the book was introduced. In order to understand the fantasy part of the characters I had to first learn the characters as they were in the "real" world. I enjoyed that Gaiman made a sort of puzzle for me- I had to first understand the story of Fat Charley and then with that I could piece together why Charlie became Fat Charlie and why everyone had their quirks. Not to mention that Gaiman had me hating Spider and then somewhat past the middle of the book I began to like him. Once Spider lost his arrogant God-like behaviors and started to show a conscience he was more human and he evolved from that point on into a person more like Charlie. He eventually became like Fat Charley in the way that he worried and finally felt embarrassment. I suppose that's what I found to be most endearing from the book was that the main character was not a superman type of guy but he actually had faults and was ashamed of them. The fact that when Fat Charlie became Charlie he did not want Spider to be apart of him but remain his brother actually astonished me. I was completely ready for him to be whole again- since Spider was actually just a part of Charlie and happened to be the more adventurous part. It was nice to see Charlie becoming the hero the hard way... as in he had to learn to deal with his faults. In a way this story reminded me of the Jungle Book from the way that all of the animal gods possessed a certain personality.
Last class I was almost done reading "Anansi Boys" and I thought I had everything figured out... at least aesthetically. Then when I looked back on what I read every character was rendered black! I couldn't believe it... I suppose it makes sense considering the stories came from Africa and in the stories were the characters. I also didn't factor in that Rosie and Daisy and practically everyone else.. including the blonde Maeve originated from some exotic place. The dialect from the old women in Florida did not seem completely Floridian- and I know since I grew up in central Florida... on the third largest dead lake in Florida. The english seemed broken and rough so I suppose they were of African descent as well. I think that's the only thing that tricked me! I think it's safe to say that I'm going to be a Gaiman follower from now on.