Magic realism is a theme I can relate to visually, but to have it in a written form, I thought it was impossible; until I read Anansi Boys. Gaiman has accomplished this feat and has done so with style, creativity, and much imagination.
Anansi Boys follows the story of fat Charlie, a grown man plagued by his upbringing. He blames his sad lot in life on his father. Being constantly pranked by your own father seemed to have that effect on you.
When fat Charlie’s father passes away, it triggers a hilarious chain of events that leads fat Charlie on a trip across the globe. Fat Charlie while trying to seek closure for his father’s death, meets his long-lost brother, who in turn is more trouble than is worth knowing. With the latter causing more problems than fixing them, fat Charlie tries to set things right, only to cause even more problems. The troubles continue to spiral out of control, but that’s what makes the book so interesting.
From start to finish this tale was extremely funny. The wit that Gaiman put into the book is astounding. At the same time, Gaiman puts in a very vague magic system, so much so that it feels like a magic realism painting. At the same time, this magic system and the way the characters solve the problems are not plot-breaking at all. I think this makes this book an excellent study for aspiring writers. In fact, this book was the inspiration for the new book Dragonhearted.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will recommend it to anyone.