July 27th, 2012


Book Review: Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman

Anansi Boys

William Morrow, 2005, 336 pages

God is dead. Meet the kids.

When Fat Charlie's dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie "Fat Charlie." Even now, twenty years later, Charlie Nancy can't shake that name, one of the many embarrassing "gifts" his father bestowed, before he dropped dead on a karaoke stage and ruined Fat Charlie's life.

Mr. Nancy left Fat Charlie things. Things like the tall, good-looking stranger who appears on Charlie's doorstep, who appears to be the brother he never knew. A brother as different from Charlie as night is from day, a brother who's going to show Charlie how to lighten up and have a little fun, just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie.

Because, you see, Charlie's dad wasn't just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. Some said he could cheat even Death himself.

Collapse )

Verdict: A West African-by-way-of-London follow-up to American Gods, Anansi Boys is another well-told Gaiman tale that will not disappoint diehard Gaiman fans, and should appeal to any contemporary fantasy fan. It doesn't up his game at all and if you've read a lot of Gaiman's work, this book will have a very familiar, comfortable feel about it.

Also by Neil Gaiman: My reviews of American Gods and The Dream Hunters.

My complete list of book reviews.