Book Review: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Book Review: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman September 9, 2015

Charles Nancy had a tough childhood. His dad was quite the joker and always pulling tricks on him. Like the time he told his son that children dress up for Presidents’ Day at school and get big bags of candy. Of course Charles was mercilessly mocked at school and got no sympathy from dad that night. Worse yet, his dad nicknamed him “Fat Charlie.” Any name Mr. Nancy gave somebody stuck to them like glue, so Fat Charlie was always trying to get himself a different nickname. He got so exasperated with his father’s teasing ways (not to mention is roving eye), he moved to England. As an adult, he’s got a respectable job and a fiancé who has an overbearing mother. Things are going well until his dad dies and he has to fly back to Florida for the funeral. His dad had a heart-attack while singing karaoke at a tourist bar–too much flirting with the blonde tourists probably did him in. Strange things happen back in Florida, including the discovery of a brother Fat Charlie never knew he had. He begins a voyage of discovery that takes him back and forth across the Atlantic and even into the realm of the Caribbean gods, because his father was really Anansi, the spider god. He’s the trickster god of their pantheon and he’s still causing trouble for both his sons.

The novel is a whimsical fantasy like the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Crazy events keep happening and the writer is fairly self-aware of his own storytelling. The tone is light and refreshing and this makes great summer reading. I listened to it as an audio book (rented from the library!). The reader, Lenworth Henry, does a fantastic job with the British and Caribbean accents as well as crafting memorable character voices.

Definitely worth reading and/or listening to!

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