Tag Archives: Doctor Who

Double Review: American Gods and Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman

THESE BOOKS!!!

THESE BOOKS!!!

Okay! I have a spare minute to blog now, so I’m going to talk about 2 of the 3 Neil Gaiman books I just read, American Gods and Anansi Boys.

American Gods followed Shadow, a man whose wife died the day he got out of prison, while having car-sex with his best friend. With basically nothing left in his old life, he accepts a job offer from a mysterious Mr. Wednesday. I don’t want to explain much more, but here’s the gist: gods walk among us, and a war is coming.

If all that sounds cliche, don’t be fooled. This is not Percy Jackson or whatever. This is well put together, and fun, and deeply weird, and fairly original. And I have to say, Gaiman possesses the rare gift of endings-once he has a book going, he knows exactly where and how the end is going to go, and if he doesn’t, he’s a hell of a good faker. The protagonist was sympathetic-ish without too much of the book spent on making him so. Plot twists are unexpected and not too numerous. In case it was unclear, I loved the hell out of this book.

So then Gaiman decides that whether or not he’s done with Shadow (apparently not, he just published a new short story about the guy), he’s not done with the world, and along comes Anansi Boys. Anansi is the African spider trickster-god. Probably you’ve heard of him. He was featured in American Gods, and now we meet his kids. And they have to deal with each other, and a bunch of other gods wanting revenge for Anansi screwing with them in the past.

This book was a total stylistic change from American Gods. It was way lighter, and the protagonist (named Fat Charlie) was much easier to like. But the 2 books were both fantastic, and I recommend them to the entire flippin’ world.

Oh, hey, I just thought of a really good analogy. If these books were episodes of Doctor WhoAmerican Gods would be Blink and Anansi Boys would be The Lodger. That… is actually insanely spot-on. Well done me. Fans of the episodes should read the books, and vice versa. (Two of my favorite episodes as well).

Advertisements

TV Review: Doctor Who, The Curse of the Black Spot (spoilers)

Hi,

So I’ve been watching a lot of Doctor Who recently on Netflix (great show, look it up if you haven’t seen it, and read no further too), and I recently watched this episode. The plot involves pirates that are disintegrated by a mysterious siren with a hypnotic voice that can teleport through reflective surfaces as soon as they draw blood. Not the best of concepts, but it worked impressively, in my opinion.

The Doctor was as funny, brilliant and dramatic as ever, Matt Smith being sublime. Amy and Rory (his companions for this episode) were well done, with an interesting thing with Rory getting pricked and Amy being jealous of the siren, which Arthur Darvill played masterfully (and Karen Gillan wasn’t so bad either). Meanwhile, the guest-stars, like the pirate captain, crew and the captains son, a stowaway, were mostly spot-on, but one set of lines did make my eyes roll. The captain’s son, who believes his dad to be honorable is told by a mutinying crew member that “we sail under the Jolly Roger.” Seriously? No better way to rephrase that? Come on! Still, the captain in particular was excellent, with him doing the usual thing with the Doctor, bragging about their ships, and a great thing about turning to crime as well. I loved him. Hugh Bonneville triumphant, folks.

The reveal of the siren being a repair system from another universe was pretty effective as well. However, towards the end, when Amy gives Rory mouth-to-mouth, she gives up after like 3 seconds. It takes hours sometimes, Pond. Learn patience. Seriously. All in all, though, excellent episode, and I want to see those pirates again. I can only hope!

Very interesting reveal at the end. My wha? factor is off the scale. I can’t wait to see what transpires…