Archive for the ‘School-related’ Category

Top 10 List

Top 10 things you should know about Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman:

1. Anansi is clever. Anansi earned stories from Tiger. The stories he earned became his, and made the world begin to think in new ways. Anansi is also very witty and tricky. He plays tricks on all of the gods and many more humans. In the stories, Anansi takes many forms, but in the stories where he tricks Tiger, he is his normal form of a spider.

2. Everyone hates Anansi’s bloodline. Although most of the creatures that know him do not know his sons … they are considered just as problematic as Anansi and thus hated just as much. In fact, they are hated to the point where most of them wouldn’t talk to Charlie. They hate Anansi too much.

3. Don’t trust Grahame Coats. Grahame Coats is a liar, thief and murderer. Grahame Coats is the type of person who has very little guide as to what is right or wrong, and he has no guide as how to accept blame. Grahame Coats will sell out his own family and all of his friends long before he will accept any type of blame or responsibility.

4. Spider is … Spider. If anyone else was like Spider, the world would suck. In this book you need to know that Spider is really the start of all problems. If Charlie had never contacted Spider to tell him that their father died, then Charlie would be marrying Rosie, still with a job, and his boss might not yet be a murderer. Instead, Rosie ends up taking a cruse with her evil mother and loosing everything she had for love outside her mother… and Charlie ends up in jail for a day while being attacked by birds.

5. Rosie’s mother. She is someone that you need to know is always determined to be right. She never liked Charlie… and she was determined to make him look bad or to find something wrong with him. The whole thing with Spider was a perfect chance for that to happen. For some reason … she is also determined to find things wrong and ruin stuff… but again, only until things change at the end.

6. Daisy is important. Not only does Daisy give Rosie’s mother reason to hate Charlie … but she also arrests him. Daisy later plays several important roles that also lead to the eventual capture of Coats. Ya, true, these are bad things … but in the end she ends up being very important to everything …. and especially to Charlie.

7. Tiger is mean. You don’t want to anger tiger unless you already have a plan to keep him from biting your head off *which he will literally do*. Most creatures that make him angry or annoyed even the slightest bit end up dead. This isn’t true with Anansi, of course .. and neither is it with his sons.

8. This book takes every possible turn. Yes, it seems that it focuses around the center theme of Charlie, but it changes the direction it’s taking completely several times throughout the book. It might be even worth saying not to try to figure out where it will end because it is a very different place than where the book starts, and very different from half way in, too.

9. This is a book you won’t want to put down. After the first 50 pages or so, the book picks up the pace and you won’t want to put it down. It’s kinda weird how it does that .. but it gets to be hard to just pick a point and stop *yes, even at the chapter marks*.

10. This is a book well worth reading. If you need to pick a *just short of* 400 page book from within the last couple years … this is the one. This book takes normal people and mixes them with gods. Charlie had a normal life until Spider. Spider changed everything. Weather Spider is a good or bad thing in Charlie’s life is still for you to decide, and I’m not going to post any spoilers here :P .

Reading: Saturday, December 19, Post B

My response to the book at this point is something along the lines of *i didn’t see that coming . . .*. Someone probably saw this coming, but i didn’t see it that Fat Charlie would be looking for his dead? father. Fat Charlie didn’t like his dad much, and he was the one who buried him .. but it was his brother that suggested that their father *Anansi* might be playing a trick on him. The reason that his brother thinks that is because Anansi is a spider that played tricks on everyone and they all hated him for it. This wouldn’t be the first time he’d have played dead. Every now and then the book tells an Anansi story *an example is the tar baby*. One of the stories they told involved Anansi ‘dying’ and being burried only to come out of his grave in the night and steal food … then run off and steal again the next night. If he’s playing dead .. it’s just for kicks *also something he’d do*. I really have no idea where this is going to go next … but my final reaction to this point is that this is a great book and it hasn’t hit it’s climax yet.

Reading: Saturday, December 19, Post A


Dazed (215): unable to think or react properly; stupefied; bewildered

Dim Sum (263):a Chinese dish of small steamed or fried savory dumplings containing various fillings, served as a snack or main course.

Irony: it’s a bit ironic that the birds who were sent by fat charlie after his brother are also trying to get him . . .

Irony: no matter where they go, Fat Charlie and spider can’t get escape the birds, even in the places of the world where there are no birds.

Symbolic: After Charlie’s boss kills Morris’ wife, he is *so far* able to simply get away with the murder using a fake identity that he was able to create through all of the normal processes of getting IDs and passports and such.

“What do they call a rational fear of birds, then?” (252)

The significance of this quote is that people think Charlie has a bird phobia because he avoids birds and he keeps asking if there are any around and is constantly watching over his shoulder. In reality, the birds are trying to kill him… In Daisy’s car, she says that a phobia is an irrational fear. She doesn’t know that his fear is more than rational.

Theme:The theme has now shifted to being of a criminal chase and a fight for Charlie to get his life back.

Reading: Tuesday, December 11, Post B

Response through page 211: 

Fat Charlie is trying to get rid of his brother. Who wouldn’t? So far Spider has taken his girlfriend (who thinks that spider is fat charlie), had him investigated by the police, taken over his apartment, and taken everything Fat Charlie really has had. Fat Charlie is now on his quest to get rid of his annoying brother, but he now finds that he can’t just have the old neighbors do it. So now he is on a completely unexpected journey to find someone who will help him in this other land he was sent to. Anansi seems to have played more than his fair share of tricks, because no one wants to help Fat Charlie for being a son of him. Her is my first question: where is he??? They say he is looking down at everything, so he must be in the sky?? And after that, who are these characters that he is talking to? There is an elephant, a snake, a little short guy, some woman … are these all people from some of the Anansi stories? Maybe it’s irrelevant, but this entire section made me kinda lost as to where he was looking for his help. A little later on, Spider is with Rosie (Fat Charlie’s fiancée) at her mother’s flat. Somehow, Spider’s charm isn’t working as well as it should, because Rosie’s mother still doesn’t like him and is sure that something is going on. Rosie’s mother is incredibly stubborn, but what’s really happening is that Fat Charlie’s luck is beginning to change. He got moved to first class on an overbooked flight, and then had it happen a second time. Since normally Fat Charlie would have just been taken off the flight or something, he suddenly has become more lucky and can feel it. This is all from the people he visited in the sky place.

Reading: Tuesday, December 11, Post A


Natty(166): (esp. of a person or an article of clothing) smart and fashionable
Fundamentally(201): in central or primary respects


Symbol:Tiger represented strength, skill, and blood
Irony: It is ironic that Anansi and Bird didn’t get along well but that Anansi’s son (Fat Charlie) has done business with Brid.

Imagery: There was, he noticed, blood on his shirt, his hand, and on the sole of one shoe. He took off his shirt, wiped down his shoe with it and put the shirt in the bin under his desk.


Quote: “Last time Anansi offered me water, I wound up trying to drink the moon out of a pond and drowned.” -Tiger

Significance: This quote shows how the people of this other world think of Anansi, and exactly how willing they are to help (not at all). Tiger ends up chasing chasing Charlie away because of his hat to Anansi. Many of the people of this world were fooled by Anansi at one point or another and thus will not help his ‘blood’.

Theme: The theme has started to shift again … there is now a murder by Mr. Coats (the one that had the illegal off shore accounts and blamed them on Fat Charlie), and he has fled the country. So currently, we have the Evil, take over your life, brother … the murdering- money obsessed boss … and the normal guy that just wants his old life back. In the background there is also a smaller plot with Daisy, because she was investigating Fat Charlie, but her role has become more unclear to me in the last couple of chapters.

Reading: Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 Post A


Hypothetical(127): Of, based on, or serving as a hypothesis.

Prominent(146): Important; famous


Onomonopeia: Rosie’s phone gave a high trill as is rang.

Imagery: He saw some white things and he thought they might be sheep until he realized clouds; large; white, fluffy clouds, a very long way below him.

Personification: The candles were shaped like penguins and began to dance in the light


Quote: Fat Charlie wanted to scream, but his mouth was filled with spiders. They covered his eyes and his world went dark.

Significance: This is a quote from a dream Fat Charlie is having. Currently, he is having major trouble with his brother spider, and getting him leave Charlie and his fiancée alone.

Theme: Thus far the book has taken a new direction (again) and it’s now geared to Fat Charlie trying to get his life back. Spider, Fat Charlie’s brother has decided he likes the world Fat Charlie lives in, so he has begun to take over Fat Charlie’s life.

Reading: Tuesday, December 4, Post B

My Response through page 157

This book has changes so much in the last 4 chapters, i don’t know how to respond. I think that the book is still starting off *judging by the # of pages left…* and doesn’t the full plot exposed yet. I find it odd that the author keeps jumping back and forth between the characters, but this is the style he tends to use (which i like i guess..). The book has an interesting issue that is about to come up, where Charlie’s boss has blamed charlie for illegal off shore accounts he had been using to hold stolen money. While charlie has no idea of what’s going on, he finds out that on hie “vacation” he got from work he is being investigated. Because I do a lot of computer software and hardware stuff, i know that this book has some inaccuracies as to how this investigation process is beginning, but so far the process is irrelevant to the basic point that he is under investigation. As Fat Charlie decided to go to florida (where his old neighbors live who can help get rid of Spider), Spider has decided to keep doing stuff with Charlie’s fiancée. Another interesting thing is that Spider feels untouchable. He doesn’t feel bad or guilty about any of his actions. After Charlie has a very heated discussion with him, he has an odd sickening feeling he has never had before that is a bit of the guilt he’s never felt. I left off now where Charlie has let Florida and is in some strange place, trying to receive help from the people-things there. I have a feeling that much of the book is going to be spent with Fat Charlie trying to get his real life back from his brother.

Reading: Tuesday, November 27, Post B

My response through page 111:
In the last 50 pages, this book has gone from a slow start to a very fast paced story where everything is different. Fat Charlie has learned he has a brother, and everyone likes his brother. On the night that Spider (Fat Charlie’s brother) realized that there father was dead and that he had not know, they went out to a pub and had a bottle of wine that had not been made for a very long time. What’s interesting is that the tone here has changed completely. Instead of describing Fat Charlie’s generally unlucky life, to having events happen every few minutes with the introduction of Spider. I am starting to see where this is going, like the fact that at some point someone will notice Fat Charlie in two places at once… and that will change plans for Fat Charlie. When Fat Charlie got paid 2000 pounds to take 2 weeks off (from his normally terrible boss), it’s kinda obvious the boss is hiding something. Earlier that day Spider had taken Charlie’s place at work and seen that Fat Charlie’s boss had several off shore accounts, while some of their clients are scared about the fact that their money never made it to them. Spider doesn’t seem to care much as long as it’s not illegal (which it is …), so while Fat Charlie took the next two weeks off, his boss sat at the computer and deleted/changed files about that stuff all night. In my opinion, this boss is worried that Fat Charlie is on to something, because as stated earlier, he paid him full pay to leave for two weeks for no apparent reason.

Reading: Tuesday, November 27, Post A


Dexterity(82): Great skill in preforming tasks

Comprehensible(101): Able to be understood, intelligible


Irony: It’s ironic that Fat Charlie’s fiancée’s mother came to do wedding planning the day after Fat Charlie had met his bother who had left “Daisy” at his apartment to help him.

Symbol: Spider could walk on a pool, which was a bit of a symbol that he was a god

Onomatopoeia: There were gentle plinks coming from the bathroom as Daisy had conquered it.


“She’s my fiancée’s mother”
“She’s a real bundle of joy, isn’t she?”

This is a quote from where his fiancée’s mother comes to do wedding planing, un announced, and sees Daisy. Since she is determined to hate Fat Charlie, this is one more of the things he is going to have to over come.

Theme: Thus far the theme has moved to being more a story of the two brothers meeting again and what they are going to do about the death of their father, Anansi. Fat Charlie thinks most everything is a dream, and Spider keeps trading places with Fat Charlie.

Reading: Tuesday, November 20th, Post A

2 vocabulary words that you found in the book (with page numbers). Define them in the blog.

3 examples of figurative language (irony, personification, imagery, metaphor, symbol, simile, onomatopoeia, etc.) and how you know it is that literary element.
Pick a quote from the reading and explain its significance (include page number).
Write a sentence in which you describe one emerging theme of the book.

My 2 Vocabulary words:
All definitions courtesy of, with resources of the Oxford American Dictionary

Oncology (11): the study and treatment of tumors.

Skittish (56): lively and unpredictable; playful.

3 examples of figurative language:

Irony: When Fat Charlie calls his old neighbor, to have her call his father and invite him to his wedding, he finds out she had been trying to call him to tell him that his father was dead.

Onomatopoeia: …and there was a gentle *click* as he hung up the phone. — I know that’s an onomatopoeia because it is a sound being named.

Imagery: The casket was a glorious thing, made of what looked like heavy-duty, reinforced steel, gunmetal grey.

Quote from the book: In the event of the glorious resurrection, thought Fat Charlie, when Gabriel blows his mighty horn and the dead escape from their coffins, his father was going to be stuck in his grave, banging away futilely at the lid, wishing that he had been buried with a crowbar and possibly an oxyacetylene torch. (25)

Significance: This is how Fat Charlie thought of his dad. He never liked his dad much because he did things to humiliate him (like call him Fat Charlie, which everyone then called him even though he was thin)

Theme so far: Charlie is going to get married in the next few months, and he no longer has any direct family.

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About Me in 10 Seconds

I am Matt. I do as much as possible. I'm always busy, but that's how I like it and hate it. My goal is to be the best.