Book Review: Anansi Boys :- “The Crack Jacks among Demi Gods”

Anansi Boys

4/5 Stars Goodreads Rating System

Books that can make you chuckle, snort out water or tease out warm smiles are ‘absatively’ the kind of books that you should bother people to pick up, because you know, everyone can use little smiles. This is one such book. This lighthearted and humorous story, of the West African Trickster Spider God ‘Anansi’ and his sons, was fun, the tickling kind of fun and this is what makes it different from “American Gods” ,the first book in Gaiman’s “The Gods walk among us” world,  which was comparatively a bit serious, dark, brooding and somewhat intense.

Neil Gaiman’s books have a dreamy world, and coming from a country and community which is high on myths and epic stories about gods & demigods, this particular dreamy world was all too familiar. In this world Gods exist,and they not only exist but live with and among us everyday, the old gods of Norse, or of Vedas, or of the African jungles, all of them, they live, they love, they die (well at least for sometime). The story starts with ‘Fat Charlie’ a simple accountant, quite average in every way, who had been embarrassed countless times by his father during childhood, and for whom ‘Sorry’ has now become a default reaction. But his carefully set mundane life gets tossed upside down, when his father dies on a Florida karaoke stage, you see, nobody told ‘Fat charlie’ that his dad was a God or that he was not his only son. He has a brother, Spider, who is more like his dad than he himself ever was. And thus starts a story that will leave you grinning, I love stories like that, Stories that don’t take themselves too seriously even when they are being completely serious. You would chuckle at Spider’s slyness, you would laugh at Fat charlie’s misery without feeling too bad about it, you would roll your eyes at Grahame Coat’s (Fat charlie’s boss) delusions. Mr. Gaiman’s wit is marvelous, so is the character development and the funky plot of the book. This was in all sense a feel good book, it says a lot with good old proverbs bundled anew. The stories of Anansi (Well technically every story is an Anansi story, apparently) were a great addition,  Mr. Nancy with his green fedora and lime yellow gloves, strike as a jolly good God if you ask me. And so is ‘Fat Charlie’s’ story, his discovery of himself, a jolly good story indeed, worthy of an Anansi’s son.

The book is wonderful, I really liked it, to all the myth hunters and humor suckers out there, pick this one up, take a load off from that Shakespeare, or from those realistic war tales, put your feet up on a table, sip a glass of lemonade and read this, possibly with a green fedora on your head if you can manage it.



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