I don't think you're supposed to LIKE Spider - especially not at first! You, as a Reader, have been given to Fat Charlie and Rosie first - and you will find yourself natuarally supporting them in a committed relationship to each other. But the minute you use your head, they are ALL WRONG for each other and would make each other miserable the rest of their natural lives - no sex life! and they've even really postponed liking each other until after the wedding. They make a great show of listening to each other but don't understand each other at all: ENTER SPIDER. This relationship was crying out for something interesting to happen.
Fat Charlie's immediately jealous and doesn't like Spider at all - well, DUH! while still being sort of intrigued that he has this amazing amoral completely astoundingly cool brother. I think the point is that you as a Reader aren't supposed to know WHAT to make out of Spider until a much later point in the book - you sympathize and agree with Fat Charlie. But then both these characters change a lot before the end of the book - and later on he's just not so much a threat.
Up front, at the beginning, you're supposed to know Spider's a threat to F.C. and to empathize! The poor bloke needs a friend, he's absolutely normal, mediocre and helpless - a fine state for the son of a god! - YOU are being called on to fill that role.
|Only sounds like Keith Flint|
i hated spider too at first. And I hated rosie. She made me so angry.
Spider, Rosie, Mr. Nancy -- a lot of characters made me angry or embarassed in some places of the book. It wasn't a bad thing; I was very into the story and sympathetic toward the events. I ended up forgiving all the characters for their flaws during the course of the book, much the way I do with friends in real life. If all the characters were perfect, doubt I would've had as much fun reading.
ok, i will be honest: i like spider at the first time i saw him on book...he is sexy, dared, funny...he involved me, heh....the way that Gaiman describe his smile..seems so nice....
---"I don't feel any shame and I won't apologize" JOS---
Me? I thought spider was really cool at first, especially as Fat Charlie was being a bit useless about his life, then i grew to dislike him quite intesely by about halfway through the book (especially as it was reflective of some grief some friends were going through at the time) and by the end i was endeared as he had faced some of his own demons.
And i must say i actually like it when a writer makes me dislike a character, a situation, hey even a whole chapter or two (eg anyone ever read James Joyce 'Portrait of the Artist of a Young Man? Damn, i hated about 1/3 of that book so intesely but it was fascinating!) because it makes the resolution that much sweeter.
Would your favourite cake be so good if everything tasted like it?
'We are the wall against which we are waiting'
from the first time mrs. higgler said to charlie that the picture of him looking in the reflection was him and his brother, i was convinced he was just charlie's alter-ego.
i found it to be the reason rosie finally falls in love with charlie. (she thinks spider is charlie) and the reason charlie says he looked like he always imagined he'd want to look.
so JMO they are same person and they only become whole after meeting each other for the first time after the split. *charlie more godlike and spider more human*
Even if Charlie has all my simpathy, he is like every one of us with all his insecurities and fears, I really like Spider. He is intriguing, funny, sexy and nicely bold.
I liked the way Spider answered Charlie who was offering him a coffee: "Dark as night, sweet as sin.". This answer describes him so well.
"Sometimes they'll find that the stories have changed and grown while they were away." Neil
If a spider were to waltz into my life like that Id kill the SOB and probably the girl too. I would not take too well to something like that, then again Id aspire to actually fall in love wtih someone such that things like that arent likely to happen.
So yes I hate Spider because he is a woman stealing asshole.Rosie happened to be with someone else and he barged in on that. In this case however Rosie and Charlie werent really in love, which is Spider's only saving grace. That fact alone moves his actions into a grey area of morality. If, however , Rosie and Fat Charlie where infact in love ; then Spider's actions would be clearly condemable.
if rosie and fat charlie were really in love spider would not have had a look in. it was only the fact they weren't in love was he able to "steal" her away.
I prefer to live in a country that's small, and old, and where no one would ever have the NERVE to wear a cape in public, whether they could leap tall buildings in a single bound or not.
the parrot... ...gets tiresome.
the parrot... ...i ate him.
Actually, at first, I hated Spider as well and couldn't possibly fathom what his deal was. I began to sympathize with him as the book wore on but then I found myself liking Rosie less and less. I began to like Spider, but at the cost of disliking the previously likeable Rosie.
I'm not sure why, but while we see the resolution to Charlie and hers engagement, there's never any real closure. She suddenly acts cold and indifferent towards a man she had been with for, if I recall, eighteen months and had agreed to marry without even saying 'oh sorry I was sleeping with your brother, I honestly didn't know' or even a 'so what exactly happened when I thought he was you?' I cannot even remember seeing her formally break it off with him in the book; I do recall Charlie mentioning getting his ring back from her, but I digress. I just found the whole handling of their relationship really very odd. Don't get me wrong, Daisy and Charlie seem a much better fit on the whole, and I understand they were never totally in love - though in the beginning that could be debated, the line about Rosie referring to Charlie as her 'one true love' rings a bell - it just bothered me both just stopped talking to one another after Spider came into the picture.
As for me, it seemed obvious to me early on that Charlie and Spider were both imcomplete persons. Each had within himself qualities that the other desperately needed to become whole ("saved"). They had to meet and get to know each other so they could learn how to supply the missing parts of themselves and reach their full potential.
I was expecting the story to turn out exactly the way it did, so I found the book intensely satisfying. I like a novel that reaffirms my own prejudices. ;-)
aka Adastra, the Wizzard of Jacksonville
I loved Spider for one simple reason: he embodies that little devil each of us has inside. The things is, that most of us would never act on it. It really made me concider how moral I try to be, because through immoral actions, things came to light to save all four from a life of contentment rather than real happiness. No one can claim that they dont have a little devil, nor can anyone claim that they have never done something bad or immoral, we all make mistakes. Through the mistake making proscess Spider was treated with a good dose of Karma and became the type of man he used to hurt. He developed insecurity, guilt, and real love. He even went as far as to set up the life Rosie wanted for her. I really liked Fat Charlie and felt for him when he was hurting, but hurt causes us to burn bridges and build new and better ones that are a better fit for our lives, wants, and needs. Our little devils teach us what is right, what is wrong, and what we need...
Cards and stars tumble as they will...
i like spider. he is just doing what he knows. it never occurs to him that he could possibly be ruining fat charlie's life. if it did he might reconsider if only for a second, he's not that bad.
Wow. "Hate" Spider?
Um...gee. This is why it's good to actually FINISH a book before you get so upset and want to give up.
I didn't ever hate Spider. Maybe that's because I'm familiar with the role of the Trickster.
Spider is that part of F.C. that, had they not been separated, would have absolutely swept Rosie off of her feet.
I hope people are inspired to actually do a little bit of reading about the Trickster God in African, Native American and Asian cultures.
It's very cool stuff.
solus, I like your take on this.
I agree with your take on spider, he is a trickster god after all, and the function of a trickster is always catalyst. Charlie needed a catalyst because his life is stagnated. He is strangled by feelings of constant embarassment, and is thus kept from acting on and trusting in his own intuitions.
Now, sometimes the catalyst events seem cruel in trickster tales, but often they pay for it in some way. Becoming mortal is a common punishment theme for tricksters (or at least being exposed to their own potential for mortality, because although trickery is necessary for change, it always comes with hubris.
Spider became entangled in the web of life as a consequence of his interferance, very common theme. But what found to be unique here was that the mortal life Spider took fit him just fine, as did the more godly role Charlie took on by the end. The dual identity of the one trickster allows the human to see themselves in the god and the god in the human. Tricksters have always had the most human themes present, in my humble opinion, but to see them made further was a true delight.
"To name something is to wait for it in the place you think it will pass." - Amiri Baraka
When I was about halfway through the book I couldn't help but hate Spider and Rosie too. I almost gave up on the book because I was so mad, but then I had to remind myself that Neil Gaiman wrote it so I forced myself to finish it.
Of course I didn't regret it. At first I hated Rosie but then again she did think that Spider was Fat Charlie so you can't really blame her for sleeping with Spider when she beleived that he was her fiance. I love it that Spider fell for a woman like Rosie instead one of his usualy bimbo gal pals that he manages to woo.
In my opinion it's obvious that Fat Charlie didn't love her because he didn't fight to keep her. Yes, at first Spider used his voodoo to keep Charlie away but he Charlie didn't spend a lot of time trying to find Rosie. Even when he had gotten help to get rid of Spider he wasn't fully thinking of Rosie on his way back. His mind kept imagining her in a cop uniform. In the end I grew very fond of Spider and Rosie too, even her mother.
I love this book. It's probably my favourite. It's funny and warm and I come away chapter after chapter feeling strongly about everything. But I never hated Spider - just thought he was a bit of a sod. But Fat Charlie was also a nonce to put up with it wasn't he!
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
I hated spider too.
But now thinking about it, if just reading a fictional story can make me hate a fictional character, then Neil Gaiman is doing a bloody good job!
I hated Spider too. I thought he was a creep and a loser.
I agree. Spider was horrible.
I know it's crooked...But its the only game in town
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