inkwell.vue.257 : Neil Gaiman, "Anansi Boys"
permalink #76 of 87: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Wed 9 Nov 05 08:21
I just realised my reply about reviewers and critics didn't post. And
now I've forgotten most of what I said...

When I was a reviewer I tried to figure out what the writer was trying
to do, whether he or she had done it, and whether I should tell people
who liked that sort of thing to go and read it or not. It was
sometimes bigger and  more fun than that, but I always felt that was
what it came down to.

As an occasional critic, it's a very different job, mostly consisting
of looking at what's there and suggesting keys that could open it in
different ways.

There are critics who write short reviews, and reviewers who write
variants of "This is the sort of book it is and I liked it or didn't"
at enormous length.
inkwell.vue.257 : Neil Gaiman, "Anansi Boys"
permalink #77 of 87: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 9 Nov 05 10:45
Thanks!  Excellent description, and I agree with your take on it.  

When I was in theater, I respected critics who wrote why our audience 
would like or dislike our show, and who didn't try to act like a 
professor grading a term project from some mythical "absolute" 
quality perspective. Some critics write like they themselves are 
trying to get an "A" in criticism, and like there is no ignoble consumer 
information function to their work.  And yet, that's most often 
the reason to read them:  Has the critic found something I might 
not want to miss?  
inkwell.vue.257 : Neil Gaiman, "Anansi Boys"
permalink #78 of 87: some pipsqueak popinjay pop star (tinymonster) Wed 9 Nov 05 19:18
It's a bit early for San Francisco but right on time for Neil's
current location, so:

inkwell.vue.257 : Neil Gaiman, "Anansi Boys"
permalink #79 of 87: Mary Roane (the-roane) Thu 10 Nov 05 09:31
Neil--just in case you don't see it in 216, Happy Birthday!
inkwell.vue.257 : Neil Gaiman, "Anansi Boys"
permalink #80 of 87: just (hamilton) Thu 10 Nov 05 10:16
Happy Birtday, also.
(see?  Scorpio season.  dontcha just love it!)
inkwell.vue.257 : Neil Gaiman, "Anansi Boys"
permalink #81 of 87: virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Thu 10 Nov 05 11:36
<scorpio.ind.> for the discerning Scorpion.
inkwell.vue.257 : Neil Gaiman, "Anansi Boys"
permalink #82 of 87: Melanie Hamilton (hamilton) Thu 10 Nov 05 18:53
Thanks bumbaugh!
inkwell.vue.257 : Neil Gaiman, "Anansi Boys"
permalink #83 of 87: Dodge (clotilde) Fri 11 Nov 05 08:20
You should start with Anansi Boys with the weekend coming up.  Unless
you have something that must be done this weekend. It's one of those
books hard to put down to you reach the end.
inkwell.vue.257 : Neil Gaiman, "Anansi Boys"
permalink #84 of 87: Melanie Hamilton (hamilton) Fri 11 Nov 05 11:24
Oh clotilde, thanks for the tip.  I'm so scrambled from research paper
mixing with nanowrimo that I'd only got as far as opening the envelope
and knowing it's here.  Had to actively tell myself "you don't have to
think of the next assingment till Saturday, earliest."  Now I know how
to coax myself into some quality downtime!  
inkwell.vue.257 : Neil Gaiman, "Anansi Boys"
permalink #85 of 87: Andrew McFarlane (farlane) Sun 20 Nov 05 07:17
Thanks for Anansi Boys, Neil. I heartily enjoyed it. 

I spent a little time living and working in Barbados. A couple of
pages into the book, I heard a voice say to me in Bajan* "He one of
Anansi Boys". 

For me, it was as if the resolution of your setting suddenly
sharpened. Did you intend to evoke that with the title?

In any case, worked for me and I appreciate the way in which you weave
subtle but powerfully evocative references into your tales.

* For those who don't know, Bajan is English, Barbados-style and can
be relatively easy to totally impossible to follow for a non-speaker (I
think in part dependent upon whether the speaker wants you to follow
it or not).
inkwell.vue.257 : Neil Gaiman, "Anansi Boys"
permalink #86 of 87: Melanie Hamilton (hamilton) Sun 20 Nov 05 18:33
Ahh.  It's now a week later.  I inhaled the story in two breaths: one
for the initial shock of entering the story and the next to relax and
let go.  I'm of the sort who don't always get jokes and cry at the
wrong kind of practical joke, so Fat Charlie's tales of his life with
his father hurt.  (exhale.  do some chores.  come back tomorrow).  I
love the old women.  None of my relatives, fortunately.  These are
women I would have loved to have been around for all of their
insistence that you eat.  It's their companionship with magic that I
wish for.  

All through the narration, I could hear Lenny Henry's voice.  I'd only
heard a few seconds of the reading online because I didn't want to
know too much of the story before I read it.  But, that was enough.  I
had this thought that he should play both parts when the movie is made.
 Any thoughts ever on who might play Mr. Nancy?  I can't think of
anyone mischievous enough with sufficient sense of turning the universe
inside out at will, who would also look good in lemon yellow gloves.

I think my favorite character is Daisy.  Especially how you use her to
remind us to listen for our own song. And a huge chuckle when the
sensible cop got drowned out by "Evildoers beware!"  I know that kind
of "Oh, Hi! Remember me?" appearance.  Then one night, waiting for the
bus, it struck me.  I know only one Gilbert and Sullivan operetta
decently.  So, when I kept hearing "Tarantara, tarantara, tarantara!",
I finally asked, why?.....
OH! Daisy!  I may not know the words and music of her song, but she
has a little bit of those policemen going on during the soapy bits.

All in all, a lovely time.   I don't know if you started out to write
an Anansi story, or a story about Anansi that Anansi made sure was one
of his; I'm just glad you don't write Tiger stories.  There's enough of
them trying to be told.

Thank you. 
inkwell.vue.257 : Neil Gaiman, "Anansi Boys"
permalink #87 of 87: Daniel (dfowlkes) Mon 21 Nov 05 03:35
    <scribbled by dfowlkes Tue 3 Jul 12 10:14>

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