Reviews of Anansi Boys (2005)
Review by tempest_gypsy (2006-08-28)
I read "American Gods" some time ago, and was disappointed. I usually expect better from Neil Gaiman. So, I only recently got around to reading "Anansi Boys" and was MUCH more pleased; I found it much more like Gaiman's usual quality.
The basic of the story is that Anansi (the African spider-god) dies, leaving two sons in the world, who don't know about each other, and one of whom did not even know his father was a god. Fat Charlie, who likes everything in his life neat, orderly and non-embarrasing has his world turned quite upside down when his brother, Spider, comes to stay in his guest bedroom. The rest of the plot involves several trans-Atlantic flights, witchcraft, fiancee-stealing, murderous pigeons, shape changing, magic, singing, the police, vacations and fraternal understanding.
Gaiman's writing style in this novel is, in some ways, very similar to that of Douglas Adams. He has the same sense of the absurd, and the same ironic sense of humor, which makes for a pleasing, enjoyable read. So enjoyable that you'll find yourself reading favorite passages aloud to anyone who will listen.
It's an excellent story on the themes of family (lost or otherwise), the nature of love, and learning to cut loose and have fun once in a while, even if it might be embarrasing. It rates high on my list of recommended reading!
Review by Zacynthus (2006-06-09)
I loved this book. It is an insane romp through multiple worlds (perhaps dimensions is a better word). It is slightly reminiscient of 'A Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy'. It has at its centre a experiences and ideas that are common to all of us, which is the real magic of this book.
It is beautifully written, but I wouldn't expect any less from Gaiman. It is much lighter in tone than American Gods, although it is set in the same world.