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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Anansi Boys, a sequel of sorts to Neil Gaiman's Hugo- and Nebula Award–winning American Gods, revolves around a prudish guy named Fat Charlie -- the unwitting son of the spider-trickster god Anansi -- who, after finding out about the death of his estranged father, meets the brother he never knew he had: and watches as his orderly life devolves into supernaturally induced chaos.
Fat Charlie's life in London is anything but remarkable. Though he works in a dead-end job for a despicable boss who resembles "an albino ferret in an expensive suit" and dates a woman whose mother hates him, Fat Charlie's bland existence takes a dramatic turn when he is summoned to Florida for his father's funeral. The trouble starts when Fat Charlie meets his brother, Spider -- who evidently received all his father's charm, wit, and wild sense of adventure. When Spider shows up in London and seduces his brother's fiancée, Fat Charlie reluctantly begins a journey of self-discovery that leads him to the very beginnings of the world, where the oldest -- and most powerful -- stories reside…
Although Gaiman himself had difficulty classifying the genre-transcending Anansi Boys (he called it a "a magical-horror-thriller-ghost-romantic-comedy-family-epic"), this myth- and folklore-powered fantasy combines the magic realism of Charles de Lint's Newford sequence and the rich African storytelling traditions of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart with the allegories of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Fans of the intense and unsettling American Gods will enjoy this lighter -- yet equally thought-provoking -- look at the influence of myth. Paul Goat Allen