First, Neil Gaiman is my new idol. I love his sense of humor, the wittiness, the cleverness, it’s perfect. It’s what I aspire to write like.
Second, do yourself a favor and get the audiobook version of this narrated by Lenny Henry. Being American, I had never heard of this guy but apparently he’s a big deal in England. He is absolutely perfect to narrate this book. He can do several accents, including more of an island-type Jamaican accent, in addition to his normal speaking voice which is a British accent. He can do an American accent, as well. It was thoroughly enjoyable to listen to him read this story. I don’t think it would have been half as good without his talent enhancing the words.
This is a partially fantasy, partially literary fiction, partially folk tale story of Fat Charlie (he prefers just Charlie) Nancy, a perfectly ordinary man, who discovers, upon his father’s passing, that he has a brother, Spider. Spider is an otherworldly person – part god, apparently. Once Spider arrives on the scene, he creates havoc that basically destroys Fat Charlie’s life. From there, Fat Charlie attempts to get rid of his brother, but it’s not as easy as just telling him to leave. There’s a seance, involving four old ladies from the islands who were Fat Charlie’s neighbors growing up. There’s a trip to a strange place at the end of the world – or is it the beginning? And there’s a lime. I won’t spoil the bit about the lime because it’s quite funny.
I still haven’t read Gaiman’s “American Gods” which I think is his hallmark work, but I plan to, very soon. I’ve read this and his children’s book, and that’s it. I want to basically devour anything the man has written. It’s that good. Highly, highly recommend this book, particularly this audio version. It is superb.