This is the story of what happens to someone when his father (who just so happens to be the trickster spider-god Anansi) doesn't have the decency to die appropriately. When Fat Charlie's father drops dead on a karaoke stage in Florida, holding on to the ample bosom of a tourist from Michigan, he will in effect ruin Fat Charlie's life.
And if that wasn't enough -- and God knows that it is more than enough for poor Charles -- Fat Charlie is also reunited with the mysterious twin brother he never knew he had, who will find several ways to mess things up and inadvertently make Fat Charlie's life miserable.
Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys is quite a treat to read. The pace is just perfect, with relatively short chapters that beg you to read just another one before your bedtime.
What gives this novel all its flavour is Gaiman's witty sense of humour. Pretty similar in style to that of Neal Stephenson, but with a story that is much more accessible. Indeed, anyone could read Anansi Boys and enjoy the ride. For me, Gaiman's sarcastic and ironic humour made me laugh out loud a number of times.
There is an endearing cast of characters, all of them more colorful than the other. The dialogues are great. Nothing is overdone. Everything speeds the story along, keeping you turning those pages.
As appear to be the case with each of Gaiman's novels, the imagery is arresting. If this author ever teamed up with Tim Burton to make a movie, it would probably be incredible!
The only shortcoming of this novel is that you reach the ending too rapidly. I wish it could have been longer. But the pace would like have suffered from that. . .
All in all, a truly wonderful read. Anansi Boys could well be the most fun you'll have reading this year! Definitely a book to buy!
The final verdict: 9/10