Book Review: Anansi Boys

Anansi Boys
By: Neil Gaiman
Published By: Harper Audio
Publication Date: September 2005
Page Count: 384
Source: Library
Audience/Genre: Fiction
 Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound.

A few things you should know: 1) I have not read American Gods, but I absolutely LOVED this book, so it 100% works as a stand-alone title; 2) Having previously read two other Neil Gaimen books, I enjoyed his writing well enough, but didn't really understand the worship-like devotion of his fans -- now I do; and 3) If you have the opportunity to read this on audiobook, DO IT, because it is one of the best audio versions I've ever encountered. Now that we've established all of that, I'm not sure where to take the review, because so much of the joy in reading and discovering this book for me was NOT knowing much about it going in.

Fat Charlie Nancy's father was a thorn in his side, always embarrassing him, never thinking about how he would impact Charlie's life. His dad was the life of the party, and Charlie, by contrast is decidedly not. Charlie works in what should be an exciting and interesting job, but he manages to make it boring. He has little to no social life. And he doesn't really seem that excited about his impending marriage to a lovely, albeit fairly boring, girl. Then his father dies and the brother he never knew he had shows up and the world turns upside down. 

Gaimen shines in his characters. Sure, the plot is interesting and twisty and turny, but the characters are ALL gems. Not just our main characters, Charlie and his brother Spider, but their father, Charlie's fiance, the group of old women who lived near their father in Florida, Charlie's boss, the actress who confronts the boss, the animal gods, and even the seemingly random woman Charlie meets in a bar. In most books, I find that a few secondary characters are written well, but in the case of Anansi Boys, they ALL are. All of them. Plus, that plot I sort of threw aside in the first sentence? It is fan-freaking-tastic.

To sum things up: 1) The plot is fantastic; 2) The characters are fantastic; and 3) I completely get the Neil Gaimen worship and cannot WAIT to read something else by him. The craziness of the plot and the fantasy elements are believable because Gaimen convinces you in the first few pages to go along for the ride. Now, I'm not sure exactly HOW he convinced me, but all of a sudden I found myself completely immersed in the story -- and trust me when I say that surrendering to this story is a decision you won't regret.

Summary via Goodreads

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.


  1. One of my FAVORITE books by Gaiman! And hilarious! I'm so glad you've enjoyed it! I recommend Neverwhere next!


Post a Comment

We love your comments!