Book Review: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Fat Charlie lives a life of perpetual embarrassment, and it’s all his dead dad’s fault. Finding out the old man was, in fact, one of the gods of the old world, none other than the story telling, web spinning Anansi himself, only deepens poor Charlie’s mortification. Add to that a demi-god brother he never knew, one who does life better in every possible way, and Fat Charlie begins to wonder what else he has to lose. Ah yes. The fiancée. Now on the arm of the demi-god brother Charlie never knew he didn’t want.

Although this was a slower burn than most of the inestimable Neil Gaiman’s novels, I still loved it. Like all great stories, it laid out a web of threads that pulled me through to the final pages, where it all took shape in way that both surprised me and made perfect sense. Writing a self-deprecating, powerless character takes great finesse if you don’t want your audience to despise them, and Mr. Gaiman made Fat Charlie equal parts despicable and loveable.

Like most of Gaiman’s stories, reader be warned. But go ye forth, if ye dare, and be edified.

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