I've not read much Neil Gaiman before, but I was quickly converted. With a hero called Fat Charlie, a larger than life brother named Spider and a mysterious father who is possibly also an African god, what's not to love?
The main character Fat Charlie isn't really fat and prefers to be called Charles, but his father gave him the nickname, and what his father says sticks. Gearing up to be married to his fiancé Rosie, preparations are disrupted by the death of his father, Mr Nancy. The description of this ‘death’ are hilarious and worth the price of the book alone, Gaiman treating morbid subjects with flair and wit, deftly showing just how embarrassing it is to have a god for a father. Travelling to Florida for the funeral, Fat Charlie meets his father’s friend Callyanne Higgler who reveals all to the hapless and rather drab hero. She also mentions the existence of a mysterious brother who later turns up in London and causes havoc. Everything escalates from there including fraud, karaoke and many other gods.
The two plot lines of grief and the chaos caused by the brothers getting to know each other form the basis of this very funny novel, which according to Gaiman’s blog, is soon going to be a movie. Having seen (but not read) Stardust, I think this is a very good thing indeed.
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