Review: ‘Anansi Boys’, Neil Gaiman

Anansi Boys (American Gods)Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this a perfect enjoyable story, a good part of it humours with the rest revealing the author’s good grasp of humanity. It is not a terribly witty book, but it is funny it its simple description of life and its annoyances. Similarly, it is not terribly good in any specific part but what it does very well is storytelling. Anansi was a storyteller and so is Mr Gaiman.

The interesting thing here is how different in style and thought this is to ‘American Gods’ which still shares some characters (no prior knowledge necessary). I think that this is especially an important thing to understand when reading the works of Mr Gaiman — he can take the place of many people and his description of a total joker is no worse than it is of a serious criminal. And, at the same time, the quality of social commentary (if one wanted to read that much into this novel — and I assure you, one does not need to do that — reading the words and enjoying a story is more than enough) is still good.

As an aside, it’s always fun to realise that the writing of something like this can be dated by an action a character takes which someone once might have thought is impermanent: such as the reading of a ‘News of the World’ that a character takes up midway through here. Time tells, ey?..

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