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Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
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Anansi Boys (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Neil Gaiman

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14,691322135 (3.94)321
Member:lisacharlotte18
Title:Anansi Boys
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:HarperTorch (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
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Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (2005)

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» See also 321 mentions

English (314)  German (2)  Finnish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (321)
Showing 1-5 of 314 (next | show all)
Set in the same world as Gaiman's most accomplished novel, American Gods, with slightly overlapping characters, this novel is lighter, more comical, but another fantastic read.

Charlie Nancy, a London-based middle manager, is haunted by the humiliations his flighty practical joker father put him through when he was a kid. So far this sounds like a story retold a million times. Except that his father is a god. Literally. And then he dies. Charlie goes to Florida for the funeral, and when he discovers there that he has a brother he never knew he had, one who inherited his father's god-powers, things start to get very strange very quickly. Charlie's life is turned upside down as his brother, Spider, comes to visit. As he tries to put his life back together, the connected web of events threaten to spin out of control. In order to put things right, and uncover the truth about himself and his family, Charlie must discover just how much of his father still lies inside him.

American Gods was such a powerful novel because the god-theme elevated it above simple horror into a rather powerful analysis and indictment of modern American society. Here the purpose seems to be more innocent - just to tell a good story. And Gaiman does that, in spades. The plot twists and turns brilliantly. Some of the early parts, with Spider letting his charming, trickster divine powers shine through, are wonderfully entertaining and funny. At the same time, though, how Charlie develops, and slowly gains confidence, transcends the god-theme and makes us question our powers to build our personality and reach our potential, fighting through any fears and concerns we have. ( )
  RachDan | Jan 26, 2015 |
This is kind of book two in the "American Gods" series. While it's not the five star read of "AG" it still comes pretty close. This book has a lot more humor and focuses on the offspring of Mr. Nancy, Spider and Fat Charlie.

It would be impossible to actually explain the goings on. Suffice to say it covers two continents, several countries and the realms of the gods. It contains sex, violence and music and has a colorful cast of characters, both male and female.

The thing I like about this book is that it expands on Afro-Caribbean tales of the gods. For people interested in these kinds of creation stories and fables from other cultures, this is a book that you can dip a toe in the water of the Anansi stories and unlike AG which ranges over many cultures, this one is a little more focused.

I found Gaiman's voice in this book to be closer to the voice he used in "Good Omens" and I loved the humor in that book and having recently read it, I was already in the frame of mind for it. As a special attraction, Gaiman included in the e-book version, a chapter he had written but reluctantly had to cut. I think I would have kept it - damn the flow! It was still great stuff. He also had an afterward on how he comes up with his ideas which is fun to read and reminds me of his blogs.

I actually picked up this book hoping for more Mr. Nancy (if that is your hope, you will be disappointed). He plays a role but only a peripheral one and a very typical Mr. Nancy role at that.

If you are looking for linear story then this is probably not for you. If however, you are willing to let your mind meander and enjoy the view out the window, wherever it may take you, then you will like this book, and perhaps even love it. I still rank American Gods higher, but I did enjoy Anansi Boys just for waht it is within its own right. ( )
  ozzieslim | Dec 27, 2014 |
Wasn't sure what to think of thisone at first but it grew on me.

Did not like the big spider picture on the cover.

Liked how all the different threads (no pun intended) came together and the whole magic realism thing. I love magic realism.

Style of writing reminded me of Terry Pratchett - there were even footnotes!

Liked the interview with Neil Gaiman at the end. ( )
  ClicksClan | Dec 13, 2014 |
Sometimes, what I want is a book that's quick, fun, interesting... Gaiman is often that way for me. Anansi Boys is a fast book with a story that's quirky, very Gaiman-ish, fun... And yes, I stayed up way too late last night to finish it.

I enjoyed the character development in this one; Charlie's progression from start to finish was significant, as was Spider's. Yes, some of the romantic stuff was mildly predictable, but that's okay. This is just a story. A fun one.

I especially enjoy how Gaiman plays with gods - this is one of the things that draws me to his work. That, and his language - simple, but not elementary. Worth my time. ( )
  ThePortPorts | Dec 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 314 (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 (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neil Gaimanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Henry, LennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
The beast made the noise of a cat being shampooed, a lonely wail of horror and outrage, of shame and defeat.
"The ties of blood," said Spider, "Are stronger than water."

"Water's not strong," objected Fat Charlie.
"Stronger than vodka, then. Or volcanoes".
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

(legallypuzzled)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060515198, Mass Market Paperback)

Fat Charlie Nancy's normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn't know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother.

Now brother Spider's on his doorstep—about to make Fat Charlie's life more interesting . . . and a lot more dangerous.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:53 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

One of fiction's most audaciously original talents, Neil Gaiman now gives us a mythology for a modern age -- complete with dark prophecy, family dysfunction, mystical deceptions, and killer birds. Not to mention a lime. Anansi Boys God is dead. Meet the kids. When Fat Charlie's dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie "Fat Charlie." Even now, twenty years later, Charlie Nancy can't shake that name, one of the many embarrassing "gifts" his father bestowed -- before he dropped dead on a karaoke stage and ruined Fat Charlie's life. Mr. Nancy left Fat Charlie things. Things like the tall, good-looking stranger who appears on Charlie's doorstep, who appears to be the brother he never knew. A brother as different from Charlie as night is from day, a brother who's going to show Charlie how to lighten up and have a little fun ... just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie. Because, you see, Charlie's dad wasn't just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. Some said he could cheat even Death himself. Returning to the territory he so brilliantly explored in his masterful New York Times bestseller, American Gods, the incomparable Neil Gaiman offers up a work of dazzling ingenuity, a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth that is at once startling, terrifying, exhilarating, and fiercely funny -- a true wonder of a novel that confirms Stephen King's glowing assessment of the author as "a treasure-house of story, and we are lucky to have him."… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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