Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

This is kind of book two in the “American Gods” series. While it’s not the five star read of “AG” it still comes pretty close. This book has a lot more humor and focuses on the offspring of Mr. Nancy, Spider and Fat Charlie.

It would be impossible to actually explain the goings on. Suffice to say it covers two continents, several countries and the realms of the gods. It contains sex, violence and music and has a colorful cast of characters, both male and female.

The thing I like about this book is that it expands on Afro-Caribbean tales of the gods. For people interested in these kinds of creation stories and fables from other cultures, this is a book that you can dip a toe in the water of the Anansi stories and unlike AG which ranges over many cultures; this one is a little more focused.

I found Gaiman’s voice in this book to be closer to the voice he used in “Good Omens” and I loved the humor in that book and having recently read it, I was already in the frame of mind for it. As a special attraction, Gaiman included in the e-book version, a chapter he had written but reluctantly had to cut. I think I would have kept it – damn the flow! It was still great stuff. He also had an afterward on how he comes up with his ideas which is fun to read and reminds me of his blogs.

I actually picked up this book hoping for more Mr. Nancy (if that is your hope, you will be disappointed). He plays a role but only a peripheral one and a very typical Mr. Nancy role at that.

If you are looking for linear story then this is probably not for you. If however, you are willing to let your mind meander and enjoy the view out the window, wherever it may take you, then you will like this book, and perhaps even love it. I still rank American Gods higher, but I did enjoy Anansi Boys just for what it is within its own right.

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