The Spider’s Sons
When you’re the famous Anansi, you might think that your sons would be cool. Fat Charlie isn’t exactly the definition of cool. People call him Fat Charlie for one, but when your father is a God and he calls you a name, it sticks. Fat Charlie’s life is ho-hum until his fiancee urges him to invite his father to their wedding. Charlie finds out that his father has died. He flies to Florida only to learn that he has a brother somewhere named Spider and the way to contact him is to talk to a spider. This is obviously ridiculous, but the woman who told him about it is trustworthy enough, so who knows?
When Fat Charlie gets back to England, he talks to a spider and thinks nothing will come of it. Fat Charlie is wrong. His brother does show up and he’s like Charlie, but not like Charlie. It’s like Spider is everything that Fat Charlie wishes he was. Spider says that their father’s death merits wine, women, and song. They go out and meet a woman named Daisy. Things just start to unravel from there. Spider pretends he’s Fat Charlie and this gets Fat Charlie into some hot water with his boss, who is doing some illegal money transfer from the company he works for. He tries to pin it all on Fat Charlie and then Fat Charlie gets angry and wishes his brother away, but it turns out that Charlie has grown to love this new-found brother of his.
Fat Charlie enters into a realm he never imagined, or forgot, rather, existed. There are a Tiger and a bird woman. There are strange creatures all around. Spiders listen.
When you’re the son of a God, you can do magical things.
What I liked
Neil always has great stories. I’ve heard Anansi stories off and on since I was around five-years-old. He’s an interesting deity. If you don’t know any Anansi stories, look him up. He’s a bit like Iktomi as far as being a trickster spider. Anansi is not a fire and brimstone kind of god. He’s a prankster kind of god, one who makes people laugh and one whom you can laugh at.
I really enjoy how Fat Charlie rises to his potential in this book. It’s a great thing to watch someone go from thinking they’re a lot of nothing to realizing that they can do great things. Yes, this is a work of fiction, but you might as well look at this book like it’s a motivational self-help resource. Sometimes all it takes is realizing that you have the ability to do more.
What I didn’t like
I don’t usually find things I dislike about Neil’s books. I suppose some people might get a bit butt-hurt over the magical realism parts of these books, but I like it.
Look at that old goofy dog.
If you found out that you were the child of some mythical personality, how would you feel about it?
Who would you hope you were secretly the child of?