I have to say, Neil Gaiman's doing something in Anansi Boys that I didn't think could be done.
One of my pet peeves is the story about someone who's living a normal, happy, regular life, trying to be a good person and find a reasonable amount of happiness, whose life is then shaken up and turned upside down by someone wild and outrageous, with the moral lesson being that keeping your head down is an unacceptable way to live life.
Anansi Boys looked like one of those stories. Fat Charlie is clearly meek and not carpeing the diem. Spider shows up, and makes things "happen." Fat Charlie's a little miserable. And yet, Spider hasn't done anything to ruin Fat Charlie's life. Sure he's blackmailing his boss a little, but that's working out very well for him. Everything that's going wrong in Fat Charlie's life is his own fault or no one's--even indirectly, Spider is only making his life better, not worse.
So far, of course. But it's nice to be so pleasantly surprised.