Anansi Boys: A Novel
by Neil Gaiman
- Publisher: HarperAudio; Unabridged edition (September 20, 2005)
- ISBN-10: 0060823844
This is an Anansi story. Of course, all stories are Anansi stories now, but this one is really about Anansi. Well, it's mostly about Anansi's son's, Fat Charlie and Spyder, but that's almost the same as being about Anansi himself.
This is actually the second time I've listened to this book; I've never actually sat down and read the text, just listened to the audio. Lenny Henry does the reading, and he does an absolutely marvelous job bringing the story to life.
As I mentioned, the story mostly concerns itself with the life of Fat Charlie Nancy, an American transplanted to London after his parents split up, and who is perpetually scarred by the embarrassing tricks his father played on him as a youth. After his father's (embarrassing) death, Fat Charlie learns that he has a brother he never knew about, and decides to contact him. WHich is when things get very interesting, particularly in the Chinese sense of the term.
While ostensibly connected to American Gods, this book doesn't have much overlap with that one, other than a generally shared setting, and a belief in the importance of stories. Anansi Boys feels much lighter and more cheerful, though it's still got some rather gruesome and disturbing moments. It's got a lot of interesting twists and turns, and a variety of fun and memorable characters who are just as fun the second time around.
My only complaint, both times, has been the predictably of hte various romantic entanglements. But it's a small thing, really. In the end, this is still a great story. A great ANANSI story, really.