“Anansi Boys” by Neil Gaiman | Book Review

Book Review | Rating – 4/5 | Genre – Fantasy

Once again I have found myself reading one of Neil Gaiman’s books. This is another of the many books I got last Christmas, once again adding to my extensive collection of books by one of my favourite authors. Long story short, it really didn’t take long till this book was bumped up the line for me to read straight away.

Fat Charlie Nancy’s normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn’t know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother. Now brother Spider’s on his doorstep — about to make Fat Charlie’s life more interesting… and a lot more dangerous. (Check it out here)

What did I think?

I’m going to try and avoid sounding like a complete Neil Gaiman fan boy, as I always find myself really enjoying his books, and then going on a bit of a flurry of positivity. Lets watch the worst attempt at restraining oneself ever…

Anansi Boys is a super interesting concept, with a modern twist on a story from the ancient African gods. I have longed to see other Gods put into books (there are far too many books on the Greek Gods), and this was one that blended the myth with the real world fairly well. There were parts where I wasn’t quite sure what Anansi’s myth actually was, but it didn’t put off the more magical aspects of the book.

Besides the enticing concept, I remained with the book for its brilliant characters. It was a nice mix of the mystical and the mundane. Fat Charlie is your typical bloke, stuck in a monotonous and average life. It was definitely the very spot on depiction of normal life, and how Fat Charlie feels about it, that made the book as funny as it was to read.

Reasons to read Anansi Boys…

  • Hilarious characters: As I said before, there was a nice mix of magical characters, and normal or mundane characters. The clash of these characters was written so wonderfully where it felt like a more realistic undertanding of people’s reaction to the unexpected. It was once again a book that had me chuckling away as I read.
  • Brilliant concept: Also above I mentioned the inclusion of Ancient African Gods as the main premise for the book. Having dealt with the story of Anansi long ago (thank you year 7 drama), I was excited to see these Gods brought into the modern world, giving a good spotlight to other stories from another culture.
  • An abundance of wit: I feel like it isn’t a true Neil Gaiman book unless you’re met with hilarious cynicism and quick wit. This book doesn’t hold any of it back, mostly present in the main character’s persona, with Fat Charlie constantly annoyed with life, and the inconviniences that the fantasy elements are having on his life.

At the end of the day…

I’m hoping that I was able to restrain myself in my enjoyment of this book, having a quick look back through, i’m not entirely sure I succeeded. I just can’t help it, I really love reading Neil Gaiman’s books, his writing is just so fun to read, and the stories he creates are always hilarious and unique. Anansi Boys was no exception to this rule.

I didn’t give the book the full 5/5 based entirely on the fact there came a point towards the end where I was genuinely wondering how many more pages I had left to read. Not saying that the story was boring at all, just that it is a very long book. But, lets not dwell on this and end on a high… once again i’ve got another Gaiman book in my collection that I can enjoy many times over.


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