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Friday, June 01, 2007 

Anansi Boys

I have always like stuff that carry a bit of its dark side. Not really the all-out hardcore gory stuff, but stuff that is just a little twisted from the norm.

Bonnie knows that.

This year, she is kind and sensitive enough to get me my birthday present the way I really wanted, and even to some extent out of my expectation.

She got me books by Neil Gaiman.

Not many, I had tried some short stories from this writer. Not to say I dislike it, despite very entertaining, I found that somehow it always leave a hole inside me after reading. It's like seeing something extremely promising and the final didnt come up to expectation.

I'm not talking about his writing; he's a damn good writer and I'm in no position to criticise. I'm talking about his stories.

As comparison, Tim Burton, my all time favourite director, loves to use children-friendly images and stories (at least in the surface) to convey messages and feelings that's truly cruel and dark. I love that; because after the shows/storiesthey'll leave feelings in your heart, question marks in your mind. Whatever it is, there's no rest.

Neil Gaiman is the opposite. His stuff usually started with freakish atmosphere, haunting mysteries, and scary tones. It's almost always full of uncertainties and will always trigger the inner fear in me. However, when the story unfolds, Gaiman will give the reader more light/hope. The ending will usually be bringing some positive messages.

I am always seeking for a darker post-reading feeling; hence Burton's surface-sunny background-shadow suits me better; as compared to Gaiman's dark tone of story-telling, which makes me expect something even darker in the end but actually the total opposite.

I was, always, expecting the wrong thing and therefore it explains my emptiness after reading his stuff.

One of the books Bonnie bought me is called "Anansi Boys" which is, as the early paragraph stated, out of my expectation. This book, starting from the very begining, is a very funny story. Funny as in it really trigger laughter. Though throughout to the middle it does carry bits and pieces of the normal Gaiman dark tone, the whole story is just plain full of nicely written jokes.

I was actually laughing when I read it. Of course the neding will be the normal Gaiman's stuff which is pretty much a happy ending but it doesnt bother me. It's because from the very begining, it has never attempt to be dark at all.

I must say this is probably the best reading I had since 2006. It's a fantastic book!

And it's a fantastic birthday gift!

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