Anansi Boys Review – San Francisco Chronicle

From the October 9th San Francisco Chronicle:

With Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman, author of Coraline and the acclaimed Sandman comics, gives his flair for comedy free rein without losing his appreciation for the darker aspects of world mythology.

When mild-mannered London accountant Fat Charlie Nancy learns his long-estranged father has died while performing in a karaoke bar, he is mostly embarrassed, as he has been during the bulk of his life. During his visit to Florida for the funeral, Charlie learns that he has a brother he’s never met — nor even heard of. When this mysterious sibling, named Spider, later turns up on his doorstep, Charlie is in no way prepared for the seismic shock about to upset his well-ordered life.

Anansi Boys is tangentially connected to Gaiman’s previous novel for adults, the multiple-award winner American Gods, but its tone is much lighter, verging on the daft. Like Coyote, Loki or even Brer Rabbit, Anansi the Spider is one of the great trickster gods. During his misadventures, Fat Charlie discovers the truth about himself and learns to maneuver the web that binds life, love and family.

Even when juggling a homicidal talent agent, the ghost of one of his victims and flocks of aggressive flamingoes, Gaiman deftly keeps the story aloft. Anansi Boys is a welcome pick-me-up for any reader tired of nothing but a seemingly constant stream of bad news.
— Michael Berry