Book Review: Anansi Boys

Anansi BoysAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars

This book took me a ridiculously long time to finish – partly because I just haven’t had that much time to read in the past few weeks and partly because the book just didn’t hold my attention too well. This was easily my least favorite Gaiman book, but I did still enjoy it. I rated it 4 stars, but it’s more like 3 ½ . . . maybe even closer to 3 . . . and I admit that I probably bumped it up just because it’s Neil Gaiman.

Anansi Boys is about Fat Charlie Nancy, an awkward and easily embarrassed son of Anansi. (If you’re not familiar with the Anansi stories, I suggest you read them – not just as a prelude to this book but because they’re really fun stories. Actually, I suggest you find a great storyteller to tell you some Anansi stories because they’re so much better that way.) Anansi is a West African god most often in the shape of a spider. He’s a charismatic trickster, and in Anansi Boys, the prime source of embarrassment for Fat Charlie.

After Anansi dies, Fat Charlie finds out that he has a brother, Spider, who inherited all of the god-like traits of their father. He reunites with his brother and that’s when the trouble begins.

My biggest complain about the book is that it was incredibly predictable. I think that’s why it didn’t move along as quickly for me as any of the other Gaiman books I’ve read. However, I did enjoy the dynamic between Fat Charlie and Spider and how the characters grew and changed throughout the book. As previously mentioned, I do love the Anansi stories, so I enjoyed the weaving of traditional Anansi stories with a modern-day tale.

Overall, I enjoyed the book . . . If you’re new to Neil Gaiman, I don’t suggest this as your first (I’d go with Neverwhere, American Gods, or The Graveyard Book), but I do think it’s a fun book and definitely worth reading.


Upcoming reviews — Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore, The Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writers, and Sugar Plums to the Rescue! (Sugar Plums #5) by Whoopi Goldberg

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2 responses to this post.

  1. I have never heard of the Anansi stories. 😦 I like Neil Gaiman too so I will try give this a try sometime. His short story, “How to talk to girls at parties” didn’t really grab my attention, but it was short, so it was easy to get through. I am interested to see what YOU think of it. I heard somewhere they were talking about making a movie from it…but I am guessing they will have to add a lot cause it’s really short. Maybe the movie would interest me more, though…idk.


    • If you search YouTube for Anansi stories, you can watch/listen to some there . . . . or Google and you can read some 🙂

      I still have to read “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” – I’m not really looking forward to reading on the computer or my phone!

      But yeah, while this wasn’t my favorite, it’s still a fun read 🙂


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