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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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14,299313141 (3.94)293
Member:WmTravis
Title:Anansi Boys
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:HarperTorch (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (2005)

Anansi (127) audiobook (57) British (69) brothers (100) England (65) family (97) fantasy (2,270) fiction (1,526) folklore (101) gaiman (196) gods (314) hardcover (81) humor (251) magic (95) magical realism (70) modern fantasy (64) myth (77) mythology (658) Neil Gaiman (161) novel (194) own (74) read (234) science fiction (182) sff (130) signed (158) speculative fiction (64) spiders (132) to-read (231) unread (111) urban fantasy (287)
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» See also 293 mentions

English (304)  German (2)  Finnish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (311)
Showing 1-5 of 304 (next | show all)
Anansi Boys
By Neil Gaiman
Narrated by Lenny Henry
(P) 2005, Harper Audio
10.1 hours

"Fat Charlie" Nancy is a rather unprepossessing guy. He’s an accountant. He has a fiancée that he hasn’t slept with yet. He suffers from stage fright when confronted with a karaoke mic. When things get rough there’s nothing more than he’s like to do than find succor with a bit of goat curry and a cup of tea. But when his unrepentantly flamboyant father passes away, Charlie travels from his home in England back to Florida for the funeral. From there on out, Fat Charlie discovers things about his family, his brother in particular, and especially himself that are harrowingly frightening, funny and amazing all at the same time. This story is Afro-Caribbean in nature and feels very different from Gaiman’s usual style of weird, drippy, wet London. The story dazzles with bright sunshine, flashes with slick and clever dialogue, and echoes with the rhythms of ancient drum beats from West Africa. But Gaiman’s trademark other-world-that-is-nowhere, a land where reality has a rather tenuous grip and is fascinating for its strangeness is still here in the form of a dreamlike place where the world begins and ancient folkloric figures inhabit.

Lenny Henry (Dawn French’s now ex-husband) is the British narrator who reflects the world beats of the story with relative facility: The English accents (natch) of Fat Charlie and other UK characters, and the smooth American voice of Fat Charlie’s brother in particular. While I wouldn’t say all his character voices (i.e. the older figures in the story) were on the mark, the rest of the cast, men and women alike, were well delineated without resorting to overly/extreme comic interpretations. There were a couple places where I didn’t catch a word; but overall, well paced, clear, and entertaining. ( )
  Tanya-dogearedcopy | Jul 9, 2014 |
This is my first Gaiman, or the Gaister as I like to refer to him as, book written solely by him. (Good Omens, if you're curious.) And I'm impressed.

At first, I just felt really bad for Fat Charlie (I think we all have embarrassing parents, but his takes the cake!)...but, then as the web of the story began to play out, I couldn't put the book down!

This is a book that I am going to think about for awhile....and that's a good thing. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
This is my first Gaiman, or the Gaister as I like to refer to him as, book written solely by him. (Good Omens, if you're curious.) And I'm impressed.

At first, I just felt really bad for Fat Charlie (I think we all have embarrassing parents, but his takes the cake!)...but, then as the web of the story began to play out, I couldn't put the book down!

This is a book that I am going to think about for awhile....and that's a good thing. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Gaiman shuffles a step closer to dark comedy in this likeable tale of the spruce, storytelling spider god Anansi, & of his 2 brats crawling toward maturity & wisdom. ( )
  nielspeterqm | Jul 7, 2014 |
Even if I gave them both a four-star rating, I liked Anansi Boys a tad more than American Gods. Maybe because it was shorter (more up to the point?), but mainly because it was funnier. This is my second Neil Gaiman book (American Gods was the first), and if these are good examples of Neil's style (and from the reviews I've read, it seems they are...), then I'm looking forward to a third, and a fourth, and so on. ( )
  chaghi | Jun 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 304 (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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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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