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Anansi Boys (2005)

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: American Gods (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
18,076426187 (3.93)413
His past marked by his father's embarrassing taunts and untimely death, Fat Charlie meets the brother he never knew and is introduced to new and exciting ways to spend his time.

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» See also 413 mentions

English (412)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (422)
Showing 1-5 of 412 (next | show all)
Anansi Boys is a fun read, but for all its entertainment value it’s still not one of my top Neil Gaiman novels - though I do heartily enjoy it. Gaiman delves into African mythology, taking the mythos of Anansi into the modern world as he tells the story of Anansi’s sons Charlie and Spider. Of course, in typical Anansi fashion, Charlie has no idea that he has a brother (Spider is his brother, but it’s a bit complicated) and when the two are reunited after the death of their father things inevitably start to get chaotic. Gaiman uses all the tropes of the Anasi trickster stories from stolen fiances to impersonation, with many bargains made and revenges plotted, but still keeps the story human with the downtrodden and relatable everyman character of Charlie (aka Fat Charlie). Charlie may be a bit of an idiot who needs to take control of his life, but we’ve all been him - waiting to figure out what we’re good at, not quite knowing if people like us, being a bit scared of failure at every turn - and the story becomes more appealing as we see Charlie start to fight for himself. Of course, the story becomes ridiculous as Charlie (or Spider…) gets himself deeper and deeper into trouble, but nothing super terrible happens (even though there are a few edge-of-the-seat moments), so we’re left with a fun romp through some modernized mythology and a pretty great story. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
Very entertaining. Needs an extra half star. Easy to read but with good, solid content and well written and structured. Can't say much about it without spoilers. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
WTF?! 2 stars?

It's got all the usual Neil Gaiman stuff - myth, humour, well drawn characters and clever little observations but I just got fed up with this one. I read it years ago and all the bits and pieces kept creeping back into my head as I re read it. But it just didn't sit well this time - funny that, seems my taste has changed.

Originally I was given this for my Birthday in my last year of university and I gobbled it straight down and then pushed it on everyone on my corridor. I did do a lot of odd things at university I suppose.

Perhaps I should just stick to rereading American Gods whenever I fancy reading Gaiman.
( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
So good! Story was really well structured and there was a great balance between realistic life and otherworldly life. I love NG’s word play and sense of humour. ( )
  Vividrogers | Dec 20, 2020 |
This is another book in the same universe as "American Gods" and although it wasn't as good as the first one, I still really enjoyed reading it. There is not much else to say here, so if you enjoyed "American Gods", this one is recommended too. ( )
  gullevek | Dec 15, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 412 (next | show all)
Gaiman kutoo tapansa mukaan sujuvan ja houkuttelevan kertomuksen, joka ammentaa tarinoiden ja myyttien maailmasta. Sujuvan lukukokemuksen viimeistelee onnistunut suomennos.

Gaimaniin mieltyneille Hämähäkkijumala on puolipakollinen kirjahyllyn täyte ja kevytfantasiaa hakeville ihan yhtä hyvä tutustumiskirja kuin mikä tahansa varhaisempi romaani. Vaikka kirjan juoni ei juuri yllätäkään, Gaiman esittelee tarinankertojan lahjaansa: kykyä tehdä mahdottomasta todenmakuista.
added by msaari | editKeskisuomalainen, Riku Ylönen (Jan 30, 2009)
And Charlie, who has become a successful singer and fathered a son, has come to terms with the powers and responsibilities of ''a boy who was half a god," having learned what Gaiman knows better, and communicates more forcefully, than any other contemporary writer: Stories and poems, songs and myths, represent us, sustain and complete us, and survive us, while also ensuring that all that's best in us survives with them.
added by stephmo | editBoston Globe, Bruce Allen (Nov 20, 2005)
The focus on Anansi and tricksters, I think, goes a long way towards explaining the tone of this novel. It really feels more like some of the established "funny" sci-fi/fantasy authors (like Gaiman's Good Omens co-author Terry Pratchett) than "classic" Neil.
added by stephmo | editPopMatters, Stephen Rauch (Nov 7, 2005)
The problem in "Anansi Boys" is the type of fantasy Gaiman has chosen. The tales of Anansi outwitting his foes leave you feeling you've eaten something heavy and sugary. There's an Uncle Remus folksiness to the stories that sends the airy blitheness of the farce plummeting down to earth.

There is also, I regret to say, the warm hand of instruction lying uneasily on this tale. Charlie works through his ineffectualness and his family issues to find happiness, contentment and - ugh - acceptance. It leaves you with the uncomfortable feeling that for Gaiman, farce by itself would simply have been too frivolous, that he feels the need to impart a lesson.
Anansi Boys contains a couple of traditional-style Anansi fables, and the book itself takes a similar ambling but wry, pointed tone; like any good Anansi story, it's about cleverness, appetite, and comeuppance, and it's funny in a smart, inclusive way. And like any good Gaiman book, it's about the places where the normal world and a fantastic one intersect, and all the insightful things they have to say about each other.

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Henry, LennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hopkinson, NaloIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mcginnis, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trueblood, HoustonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallejo, FrancisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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You know how it is, you pick up a book, flip to the dedication, and find that, once again, the author has dedicated a book to someone else and not to you.

Not this time.

Because we haven't yet met/have only a glancing acquaintance/are just crazy about each other/haven't seen each other in much too long/are in some way related/will never meet, but will, I trust, despite that, always think fondly of each other ....

This one's for you.

With you know what, and you probably know why.
NOTE: The author would like to take this opportunity to tip his hat respectfully to the ghosts of Zora Neale Hurston, Thorne Smith, P.G. Wodehouse, and Frederick "Tex" Avery.
First words
It begins, as most things begin, with a song.
Fat Charlie wondered what Rosie's mother would usually hear in a church. Probably just cries of "Back! Foul beast of Hell!" followed by gasps of "Is it alive?" and a nervous inquiry as to whether someone had remembered to bring the stakes and hammers. (Chapter 5)
"Your job is safe and sound. Safe as houses. As long as you remain the model of circumspection and discretion you have been so far."
"How safe are houses," asked Fat Charlie.
"Extremely safe."
"It's just that I read somewhere that most accidents occur in the home." (Chapter 5)
"The ties of blood," said Spider, "Are stronger than water."
"Water's not strong," objected Fat Charlie.
"Stronger than vodka, then. Or volcanoes". (Chapter 6)
The beast made the noise of a cat being shampooed, a lonely wail of horror and outrage, of shame and defeat. (Chapter 13)
"I figured even if there was a nuclear war, it would still leave radioactive cockroaches and your mum." (Chapter 14, Charlie speaking to Rosie)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

His past marked by his father's embarrassing taunts and untimely death, Fat Charlie meets the brother he never knew and is introduced to new and exciting ways to spend his time.

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Book description
Set in the same world as American Gods, but not a sequel to it.

In Anansi Boys we discover that 'Mr. Nancy' (Anansi) has two sons, and the two sons in turn discover each other. The novel follows their adventures as they explore their common heritage.
Haiku summary
Moral of the book

can't be: In order to find

yourself, wear a hat.


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