I have to say, I enjoyed Anansi Boys about as much as I enjoyed Neverwhere! Gaiman’s rather dark, dry sense of humor mixed with his penchant for the creepy and surreal made this book an incredibly engaging read.

 Fat Charlie Nancy doesn’t look like much of a hero in the beginning of the book. He’s just your average overworked, underpaid working man with a pretty fiancée and not-so-pretty mother-in-law-to-be. Gaiman does a wonderful job of drawing readers into Charlie’s unremarkable life just in time to watch it turn upside down. Like its predecessor, American GodsAnansi Boys takes its time setting up the story, but once it takes off, it twists ans turns like crazy! I didn’t want to put it down.

Unlike American Gods though, Gaiman puts a lot more humor into the opening of this book. Charlie’s interactions with his future mother-in-law had me laughing til my cheeks hurt. And Spider’s antics, while absolutely cringe-worthy at times, are still entertaining nonetheless.

And then Gaiman brings in the creepy.

The African gods (even the benevolent ones) were quite eerie – the Bird Woman especially. And her level of creepy makes the scenes that look like they come straight out of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds even creepier. Tiger, for all that he is fearsome throughout the story, is less creepy than the other gods, simply because he’s less subtle, but, by the end, he’s just downright terrifying. For those of us who enjoy that edgy sort of surrealism, Gaiman does not disappoint.

Anyways, this story made me happy on so many levels – a bit more so than American Gods, actually, and I thought that story was excellent! One reviewer on Amazon said it best:

American Gods is a dark ride through the landscape and the psyche. It’s magic at its most threatening. A tale of terrors long-forgotten. A tiger tale.”

That is true, and its “sequel” is very fittingly an Anansi story, full of cleverness and wit and fun. Even though it’s nowhere near as dark or convoluted, Anansi Boys holds its own. It will remain in my bookshelf for a very long time. I don’t plan on getting rid of it any time soon.

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