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Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Anansi Boys (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Neil Gaiman

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14,751330134 (3.94)331
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 (322)  German (2)  Finnish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (329)
Showing 1-5 of 322 (next | show all)
A comic and irreverent romp, most befitting of the spider god, Anansi, the novel's inspiration. If you have the option, there is a great audio version that brings to life all of the characters and makes them even more lovable than before. If you liked American Gods, make sure you don't skip this one. ( )
  WritingHaiku | Jul 28, 2015 |
Locus (Fantasy Novel, 2006), British Fantasy Award (August Derleth Fantasy Award, 2006), Geffen Award (Best Translated Fantasy Book, 2006), ALA Best Books for Young Adults (2006). Based on the West African traditional stories of Anansi the Spider Trickster tales.
  CindyMcClain | Jul 20, 2015 |
This didn't really live up to my expectations after reading American Gods. It wasn't laugh-out-loud funny to me and it gets tedious at parts. Still, all in all, I love Gaiman's writings. ( )
  novewong | Jul 8, 2015 |
The first chapter of this tasted of regret. My regret. Why did I buy this? Why did I want to read this? Why do I keep giving Gaiman chance after chance after chance to live up to his reputation?

Things started to get better around chapter 3, but then went downhill again. On the whole, the book floundered between decent and mediocre. It never really pulled me in, enticed me, or offered me any diversion. I spent a good deal of the book thinking "This isn't over, yet?" I suppose I'll just never see the allure of Gaiman.

The endings (there were several) dragged liked nobody's business.

The only positive I can think of was the audiobook reader. He annoyed me at first, but I came to really enjoy him. ( )
  benuathanasia | Jun 8, 2015 |
Set in the same (or a tangent) universe as American Gods, Anansi Boys tells the story of Fat Charlie (who was only fat for about four years in his youth, but his father game him the nickname, so it follows him still). Preparing for his wedding, his fiancé demands that he invite his father, whom he hasn’t seen in years (and would gladly not see for many more). Calling a family friend in the states to get in touch he learns that his father is dead. As he returns home he learns from the old ladies that his father was the god Anansi, and that he has a brother he doesn’t remember. Fat Charlie is soon dragged into a world of ancient gods and modern places as he learns of his heritage-- son of the storyteller god Anansi and brother of Spider, a part of himself one of the ladies banished when he was a child who has grown into a troublesome, charming, magical trickster… and one who has decided to become part of his brother’s life. With Spider impersonating him, his employer (whom Spider realized was embezzling money) trying to frame him, the police on his tail, and an unexpected murder, Fat Charlie’s world is turned upside down. Even so, drawn into a magical world he never knew was his, he may find a better way of life.
The novel is fun, with some scenes generating the sort of laughter that fills Good Omens, and has likeable and interesting characters. It is a fitting story for the storyteller’s bloodline, though it does not have the same breadth, depth, and grittiness that fills American Gods. It is a light read, a fun read, and a read that will have you laughing out loud (so be wary of reading it in public unless you don’t mind breaking down in laughter as you sit reading a book). ( )
  Ailinel | May 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 322 (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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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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