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Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Anansi Boys (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Neil Gaiman

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15,517352118 (3.93)357
Title:Anansi Boys
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:HarperTorch (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

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Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (2005)


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English (344)  German (2)  Finnish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (351)
Showing 1-5 of 344 (next | show all)
Anansi Boys is loosely related to American Gods, but each book stands alone and tells an independent story. The main connection is that Anansi is one of the gods we meet in American Gods, often referred to as Mr. Nancy.

Anansi himself doesn’t really show up in Anansi Boys all that much, but he’s referred to a great deal and several stories are told about him. Our main character is Charlie, Anansi’s son, who is quite ordinary, shy, and easily intimidated. At the beginning of the book, we read about Charlie’s childhood and the things his father Anansi did to embarrass him. Before long, we catch up to Charlie as he’s living his adult life, which is quite an ordinary life. Then, of course, something happens, and Charlie’s life starts to get pretty strange and not very pleasant.

Charlie was a funny and interesting character. He starts off kind of spineless, and I was afraid he would get annoying, but he slowly started to get more assertive. The story was interesting. Between the blatant foreshadowing and the hints, I can’t say anything about the story was terribly surprising, but it held my interest. Toward the end, I thought some things happened that stretched the boundaries of credibility, even considering the subject matter. I was really enjoying the book up to a point, but I started feeling a little less enthusiastic by the end.

This had a very different tone than American Gods. I enjoyed both books, but for different reasons. By comparison, I thought American Gods was darker, meatier, and more serious. Anansi Boys was lighter, hilariously funny at times, and sometimes downright silly. I couldn’t really say which one I liked best. During the first half of this book, I would have said I liked Anansi Boys better. Now that I’ve finished it, I’m leaning toward American Gods. ( )
  YouKneeK | Sep 3, 2016 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
  Lunapilot | Jul 19, 2016 |
Wonderful follow up novel for [American Gods]. ( )
  kale.dyer | Jul 3, 2016 |
...Anansi Boys is a fast and very entertaining read. I wasn't sure if this book would work for me but despite the lighter tone of the novel, it is a complex piece of writing. Gaiman juggles the characters and their individual stories expertly and finds a good balance between the comical and darker parts of the stories. The tone of the novel makes it easy to read, without making the story seem simple. Gaiman delivers his tale as confidently as Spider must be feeling when he bends the world to his will. It is perhaps not quite the book readers who loved American Gods were hoping for. He simply takes his writing in an entirely different direction. It is a very well written novel though, one that certainly encourages me to read more of his work.

Full Random Comments review ( )
  Valashain | May 16, 2016 |
I say this with the upmost respect, Neil Gaiman is quite possibly the greatest story teller of our generation. Not necessarily the greatest author, but reading his books are like sitting around a campfire. They are so fantastical. Anansi Boys may be my favorite so far. The tone and pacing were perfect. I flew through this book on the back of a spider.

I would like to add that I both read and listened to this book. The narrator was awesome and really brought the characters to life. ( )
  thefamousmoe | May 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 344 (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
Trueblood, HoustonCover artistsecondary 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.
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.)
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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.


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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:34 -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)

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