I finished Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys on Friday night and I absolutely loved this book, it’s now ranking as the best book I’ve read this year, so far. Sort of a sequel to American Gods, although it isn’t really, it follows the same idea that different cultures brought their gods with them when they emigrated and Anansi is an African trickster god in the form of a spider. Anansi Boys follows the story of Anansi’s sons and whereas American Gods was very, well, um American, in the way how a) it was set in America and b) the way how the characters travel across America, the whole story has a very wide open feel to it. Anansi Boys is quite opposite in that it has a cosier English feel and it reminded me a lot of another Gaiman story set in England, Neverwhere. Anansi’s son Fat Charlie emigrated to London with his mother as a child from the US, where his father stayed and large chunks of the story take place there (as well as Florida and one of the Caribbean islands). It starts with the death of Anansi and Fat Charlie discovering more about his family than perhaps he really wanted to.
This story had me giggling from the outset and has to be the funniest thing by Gaiman, that I’ve read so far, with incompetence at funerals, scary future mother-in-laws and obnoxious bosses. On one level it’s a really fun read, yet on another level it covers everything from the evolution in human behaviour, family relationships and life after death.
And on one final point, Neil Gaiman is apparently currently writing the Anansi Boys movie script, now that will be one good movie!