Why I recommend this — 5 years ago
I finally and belatedly got around to reading this and no suprises its a page turner. Gaiman is telling a tale around story telling and he is a talented weaver.
Was expecting a work that more directly “sequalised” to American Gods but all one can really say is that its in the same universe. Ours or another is an open question! Think of it as a side dish enhancing the flavours or, to be hoped, an apperatif.
Fat Charlie is a sympathetically drawn character who’s easy to like but its not long before the reader is yelling “get a backbone damn you”. Gaiman slowly slips in pieces of plot that start to give Charlie a bit more colour to add to his conflict and at the same time in slides his “brother” doing an amoral and getting down and dirty moonwalk.Poor Charlie, hey but Spiders cool. Spider will make things happen; and boy does he MAKE things happen. Charlie goes from put out, to hurt, to a slow fuse anger. Full blown [justified] sibling rivelry in 3 days! Charlie not one of lifes doers – does; the plot kicks up a gear and then another. The female characters round out a bit as the pace picks up.
Humour and understatement play their parts lulling the reader along till, as to be expected with Gaiman, the darker elements surface driving a climax.
Somehow it resonated for me with Neverwhere and the only obvious connection being Lenny Henry and perhaps some of his comic character creations.
Also sits nicely along Douglas Adams “Dirk Gently” novels.