Friday, February 5, 2010

Book Review - Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman

Title: Anansi Boys
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 spiders

Neil Gaiman's most recent novel, Anansi Boys, tells us the tale of Fat Charlie, a man that is trying to make a decent life for himself. That is, until is recloose father dies and he meets his long lost brother, Spider. At first, the reuinion is a welcomed event in Fat Charlie's life, but then Spider begins to take over Charlie's life and refuses to leave. The lengths that Fat Charlie goes to in order to make him leave will set in motion events that will change his life forever.

Anansi Boys is a classic faerie tale, as one comes to expect from Gaiman. It has quirky characters, fantastic events, and a great moral at the end. The unique aspect of this story, however, is that Gaiman bases it on West African / Carribean mythology. This gives the story a different atmosphere, while still feeling every bit like a Neil Gaiman yarn.

The characters in Anansi Boys feel a bit more three dimensional than those in some of Gaiman's other works, which is great. We watch Fat Charlie develop into a much more confident person. Spider has many layers that are uncovered throughout the novel. The "bad guy" is shocking and unique.

One of my favorite aspects of Anansi Boys is Gaiman's humor. You get a taste of it in his other works, but he really holds nothing back in this novel. This is evident both in the crazy plot developments and in the sarcastic comments that the characters often make. It serves to lighten the mood, which makes Anansi Boys a fun read.

At times, Anansi Boys can be a bit predictable, which is my only complaint about the story. Although this can sometimes be annoying, it doesn't seem to take anything away from the story in the end.

4.5 out of 5 spiders!


  1. I like that there is the thread of Caribbean and African story telling - that makes it all the more interesting.

  2. Nice review. I just finished The Graveyard Book. I will have to pick this one up as well.

  3. I wasn't crazy about this one but I loved American Gods and Neverwhere!