Anansi Boys: Songs and Stories and Spiders

How long has it been since we’ve covered a Gaiman novel? Feels like it’s been a while. It’s been very refreshing to come back to his work; I’ve needed something truly weird and fun recently.

Anansi Boys is a great case of everything I love about Neil Gaiman’s work. It takes a world grounded in reality and brings it into an absurd, magical, and hysterical world of danger and nonsense. It’s hilarious, it’s compelling, and it’s a fantastic read from beginning to end.

Fat Charlie, our protagonist, returns to Florida to attend his father’s funeral. Here, he learns from an old neighbor that his father was actually the god Anansi. On top of that, he has a brother, Spider. When Fat Charlie accidentally brings Spider into his home, his life is suddenly flipped upside down. Now Fat Charlie needs to find a way to get rid of his brother before he steals his fiancé, ruins his job, or does anything else to destroy his life.

The characters are definitely the highlight of this book. Fat Charlie is wonderfully entertaining; the dude is such an earnest loser that it’s hard not to root for him. Spider is hilariously entertaining in just about every scene he’s in; dude is just so suave and carefree, even when he’s setting Fat Charlie’s life on fire. Graham Coats makes a great antagonist; dude is everyone’s nightmare boss wrapped up in a sleazy coat and I wanted to punch him in the face during every scene.

The rest of the cast is just as delightful. From Daisy the badass and chill cop to Rosie and her heartless mother, from Mrs. Higgler and her occult sewing circle to Maeve Livingstone and her ghostly performer husband, even to all the denizens of Saint Andrew’s, everyone is a joy in this book. Whenever any of them opened their mouths to speak, I was giddy with excitement to hear what they had to say.

Largely thanks to Gaiman’s dialogue being as fantastic as it’s ever been. Dude knows how to make even the most mundane people into comedy gold.

As for the plot itself, it’s really fun and exciting. It takes tons of fun twists and surprising turns. You can’t help but wonder how all these seemingly random plot threads are going to connect, and when they finally do, it’s immensely satisfying! And it all comes to a head in a simple but powerful conclusion!

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun read from beginning to end. If you’ve never read it, I’d highly encourage giving it a shot. I’d place this among Gaiman’s best works!

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