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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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14,644325137 (3.94)323
Member:soniaandree
Title:Anansi Boys
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:HarperTorch (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:novel

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Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (2005)

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» See also 323 mentions

English (316)  German (2)  Finnish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (323)
Showing 1-5 of 316 (next | show all)
Another Gaiman book. I still can't quite reconcile myself around this author. He's still not my cup of tea but I think I've come to the point where there is something about his books that is charming in their own way. Maybe because they are so different than most other books I've read? If nothing else, they have certainly broadened my reading horizons :) It wasn't too long of a book however and it was on the list and I've been making a point of broadening my horizons, so it wasn't too bad in the end. ( )
  Kassilem | Mar 17, 2015 |
Anansi boys is the story of Fat Charlie Nancy, son of Anansi. The god. As always, Gaiman masterfully mixes the world of myth and fable with the everyday world we see to create a world where the impossible is possible. A world where all the stories are Anansi stories. It's about finding the balance in yourself between the magical, the mystical, and the real and practical. The dream and the reality. It's a great book, would heartily recommend. ( )
  TPauSilver | Mar 8, 2015 |
Fat Charlie Nancy is as average as average gets and he is perfectly content with his average life. When he returns home for his father’s funeral, however, he sets in motion a chain of events that throws his life into chaos. He discovers that his father was the trickster god Anansi and that he has a highly unreliable, unstable, and potentially dangerous brother - Spider - who inherited all of the good stuff. In short order, Fat Charlie’s life is in shambles and he finds himself on a dangerous mission to save Spider and protect the Anansi bloodline.

Neil Gaiman has a knack for writing books that are hard to pin down. True to form, Anansi Boys is an enjoyable read that does not commit itself firmly to one genre. He combines elements of myth, fantasy, urban fantasy, folklore, and adventure. He taps a broad range of human emotion, sometimes within a single scene, and does so with apparent ease. He sometimes loses his thread and transitions clunkily between Charlie’s story and Anansi folktales, but all in all this is an engrossing story. ( )
  cattylj | Feb 28, 2015 |
Know before you read this that I am a big Gaiman fan but was disappointed with this work.
This was clearly not up to Gaiman's usual ability. The first 100 pages were filled with so much that should have been trimmed, it was frustrating. After that, the story picked up well enough. I still wasn't impressed with how he handled the otherworld elements but it was a nice enough read to fill the time. ( )
  Laine-Cunningham | Feb 22, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 316 (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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