Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Review - Anansi Boys

If you've read my previous post, you'll know the very first book I finished in 2016 left a sour knot in my gut. Fortunately, I was reading another book at the same time, Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, and the adventures within its pages managed to wash away some of the frustration caused by The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Anansi Boys is immensely engaging from page one, I deeply enjoyed this story and its characters, from the old trickster Anansi to the victim-turned-hero Fat Charlie and even his suave and egotistical brother Spider. It's full of magic, of gods, and of adventure.

Readers can quickly sympathize with Fat Charlie's plight. He's the mild-mannered son of Anansi, the Spider god. Raised in Florida, Fat Charlie (who isn't really fat, but his father made up that nickname and it stuck) escapes to London the moment he has a chance. But when he receives news of his father's death, he must return to Florida and confront his past.

Fat Charlie's past involves a brother, one he didn't even know he had. When Spider, the long-lost sibling, shows up at Fat Charlie's home, things begin to get out of hand. Spider takes over everything in Fat Charlie's life; he causes complications at his workplace, makes himself his own magical bedroom (hot-tub included) in Charlie's closet, and even shows interest in Charlie's fiancée, Rosie.

Spider screws everything up for poor Fat Charlie, but I still adored him! In my opinion, this is the best aspect of Anansi Boys: no matter how much the brothers try to provoke each other's demise (and believe me, they do!), I still fell fully invested in each one.

As the story progresses, more and more elements of African folklore creep into Fat Charlie's surroundings. He decides he has to get rid of Spider once and for all before his life is officially ruined. I don't want to give anything else away, so you'll just have to read and see where the brothers' antics take you!

The only downside is that the resolution felt rushed and devoid of the magic I'd grown so accustomed to throughout the story. Nevertheless, Anansi Boys is a fun addition to my library, and one I'll surely read again.

Anansi Boys gets four out of five Pirates!

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