Book Review: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

December 4, 2014

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman is a novel which takes place in the same universe as American Gods.

Book Review Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

My rat­ing for Anansi Boys 4

Buy this book in paper or elec­tor­nic format*

More Books by Neil Gaiman

it’s no secret that I love Neil Gaiman’s writing, so when I saw Anansi Boys on sale on Amazon I immediately grabbed an eCopy.

I really enjoyed this novel, the one thing that works against it is my expectations from the author, this is the 4th or 5th Gaiman novel or graphic novel that I have read and I enjoyed other much more. This book is certainly worth reading, the humor got me laughing and the plot was intriguing, the characters were delightfully weird yet engaging.

The book is supposed to be a sequel to the fabulous novel American Gods, however I did not find it to be so. Granted the novel takes place in the same imaginary universe, and the Anansi boys do make a guest appearance in American Gods, but that’s just about it.

Mr. Gaiman is a master of the modern fairytale, a genre he helped create, abstractly manipulating physics and using legends as histories (“It all depends on how you look at it”, he says). The real power of the novel lies in the author’s writing and voice, he can describe scenes, people and events without much detail or verbiage, but the reader can draw a picture of the scene and get a feeling for the mood. I noticed that one of the techniques used is not to describe what is focus, but put everything else in focus and allow you, the reader, to deduce the rest. For example, the protagonist of the story is never described as being black, however others are described as being white – “It all depends on how you look at it”.

Both fans of Neil Gaiman and those who have not read anything from his rich body of work will enjoy this book. While it’s a bit weird, as all of Gaiman’s books are, it is a worthwhile effort and a wonderful story.

Fat Charlie comfortably lives in London doing a job he’s not meant to do, engaged to a girl he’s not meant to marry until he finds out that his father, who he has no relationship with, has died. Fat Charlie’s father was always embarrassing and he died in an astonishing way which further embarrasses our protagonist.

Fat Charlie returns to the United States to take care of his father’s estate only to find out that he has a twin he totally forgot about, and that his father was a minor African god (although a powerful one). When Fat Charlie invites his brother, Spider, into his life he finds havoc and to his dismay, that Spider inherited his father’s godlike powers while he got nothing.



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