Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (Book Review)

For my first book review of 2022 I’ve chosen Anansi Boys, the sequel, or rather companion novel to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. You can read my review of American Gods here.

…beware of possible spoilers…

As the title would suggest, Anansi Boys focuses on the two sons of the spider god, Anansi, who we were first introduced to in American Gods. With Dad dead, the estranged brothers officially meet for the first time, now that main character Fat Charlie has discovered that his brother, Spider actually exists. However, once invited in to Charlie’s life, Spider won’t leave, instead proceeding to make Charlie’s life a misery.

I have to confess I struggled a bit with Anansi Boys, especially at the beginning and end. This book is definitely not in the same league as American Gods, which I thoroughly enjoyed and found engrossing from start to finish. This time there’s not a lot of plot, and what little of it there seems to be takes an age to get going. It doesn’t capture the readers’ interest, but rather trundles along in its mundanity, without really going anywhere.

I didn’t particularly like any of the characters, especially Fat Charlie or Spider, and most definitely not Grahame Coats. Also considering this is supposed to be a book about the God Anansi, he hardly even features in it. There is however some good British humour, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and which managed to keep me moving forward and turning this books pages, albeit reluctantly.

As the story unfolded I found myself relating to some of the details, such as Charlie’s job as a book-keeper and the wedding planning scenes, as well as the bit with the spider in the bath; Charlie’s trying to catch it and put it outside whilst he’s drunk, and his terrified fiancé, Rosie watches on.

Unfortunately though, I really didn’t like this book. I wanted to, after loving American Gods, but this was just a poor attempt to give a lesser character some more depth and extra story, and it fails miserably. With dull, loathsome characters and silly plot, I have to give Anansi Boys a measly 1 out of 5 stars. Not even the comedy moments can save it.

See also:

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Author: Sarah

I review science fiction, fantasy and horror novels.

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