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Anansi Boys (2005)

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: American Gods (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
18,787444198 (3.94)416
When Fat Charlie's dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie "Fat Charlie." Even now, 20 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. Because 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. And all of a sudden, things start getting very interesting for Fat Charlie. Exciting, scary, and deeply funny, Anansi Boys is a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth, a wild adventure, as Neil Gaiman shows us where gods come from, and how to survive your family.… (more)
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» See also 416 mentions

English (430)  Spanish (4)  German (3)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (441)
Showing 1-5 of 430 (next | show all)
In general I have never been that impressed by Gaiman's novels. He seems best in the shorter forms and GNs. It is almost like there is a Gaimanish adult fiction plot: take a hero/heroine and throw them into a journey/quest inadvertently. Fill with real and imaginary Dickensian characters. Have the hero/heroine go on a picaresque and hazardous journey and have him/her go from bumbling and clueless to noble and courageous and make that character the key to the multiple plot threads. If you think I'm exaggerating go and look at [b:Stardust|16793|Stardust|Neil Gaiman|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1328433738s/16793.jpg|3166179], [b:Neverwhere|14497|Neverwhere|Neil Gaiman|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348747943s/14497.jpg|16534], [b:American Gods|4407|American Gods|Neil Gaiman|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1258417001s/4407.jpg|1970226], and [b:Anansi Boys|2744|Anansi Boys|Neil Gaiman|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327870211s/2744.jpg|1007964] again. I think [b:Stardust|16793|Stardust|Neil Gaiman|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1328433738s/16793.jpg|3166179] is the best of the lot since it still has a lot of GN elements in it.

I probably liked this less than the other three books mentioned above. I liked [b:Neverwhere|14497|Neverwhere|Neil Gaiman|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348747943s/14497.jpg|16534] alright when I read it but it was only my second exposure to the "Gaiman Plot." Gaiman is still a fine writer just not a particularly good plotter. [b:American Gods|4407|American Gods|Neil Gaiman|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1258417001s/4407.jpg|1970226] would have been great except I was already growing tired of the formula.

Is Gaiman written out or is his life just too comfortable and successful to make him hungry enough to create another masterpiece? ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
DNF @ 4%

After almost two months I officially throw in the towel. Can't bring myself to pick up this book again.

It might seem like quitting too early, but I honestly regret picking up this book.
There is no point in forcing yourself to read when the only emotions you are inspired to feel are seething frustration and exasperation. Oh yeah, disbelief features a lot too. Also - internal screaming, the bad kind. You KNOW that something is wrong when you want to set a book on fire.

Charlie is a spineless, whiny cringer. He is always embarrassed, and forever cringing, and endlessly wishing to lead a Normal Life TM. (btw, what's that? normal is a very broad definition and varies from person to person) This guy is so tiresome. He can go drown in mediocrity and suffer a slow and painful death for all I care. Just thinking about him pisses me off. SO. MUCH. Look, I get being embarrassed by your parent(s). But why the hell does he never learn? He KNOWS his father is always playing tricks and jokes around. Yet Charlie gets played every. freaking. time.

Rosie is no better. She want to Do Good. So of course she would invite to her wedding the father who humiliated her fiance on daily basis and left him with deep emotional scars. That's not Good, it's the opposite of Good. It does not know the country of Good even exists. The Good Thing to do was to forget that Charlie's father ever existed or to conveniently misplace his invitation. She is literally inviting an abuser to meet their victim. WHAT. THE. HELL.

I don't know what happens after. I don't care to find out.
This book is draining and frustrating.
I do not recommend it to anyone.

VERDICT : AVOID LIKE PLAGUE ( )
  QuirkyCat_13 | Jun 20, 2022 |
Loved the book, started a little slow but picked up real quick. The character build us was excellent. There was one thing i was totally clear on at the end but hopefully future books will clear it up. ( )
  cbloky | Jun 19, 2022 |
Fat Charlie never knew he had a brother, and when trouble-maker Spider appears in his life, the action escalates to an uncomfortable degree for Charlie. Opposites in most ways, how can they possibly co-exist?. ( )
  sleahey | May 3, 2022 |
Gaiman er flottur rithöfundur. Hann hefur bæði dýpt líkt og hann sannaði svo eftirminnilega í American Gods - sem hann fékk hugmyndina að í Reykjavík. Síðan hefur hann sýnt fram á hve vel hann höfðar til barna og unglinga með fjölda sagna t.a.m. Coraline þar sem hann felur ekki hrylling fyrir þeim heldur gerir baráttuna á milli góðs og ills að meginþema.
Anansi Boys segir frá því þegar Charlie kemst að því að nýlátinn faðir hans var guð auk þess sem hann á bróður sem hann vissi ekki af - og sem hefur guðlega hæfileika.
Sagan segir frá kynnum bræðranna, núningi og sáttum. Falleg og skemmtileg saga.

Las þessa aftur og skemmti mér konunglega. Húmorinn orðinn ferskur aftur og ég naut hugmyndaauðgi Gaimans. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 430 (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 (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Henry, LennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hopkinson, NaloIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mcginnis, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trueblood, HoustonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallejo, FrancisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
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Important events
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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
Fat Charlie wondered what Rosie's mother would usually hear in a church. Probably just cries of "Back! Foul beast of Hell!" followed by gasps of "Is it alive?" and a nervous inquiry as to whether someone had remembered to bring the stakes and hammers. (Chapter 5)
"Your job is safe and sound. Safe as houses. As long as you remain the model of circumspection and discretion you have been so far."
"How safe are houses," asked Fat Charlie.
"Extremely safe."
"It's just that I read somewhere that most accidents occur in the home." (Chapter 5)
"The ties of blood," said Spider, "Are stronger than water."
"Water's not strong," objected Fat Charlie.
"Stronger than vodka, then. Or volcanoes". (Chapter 6)
The beast made the noise of a cat being shampooed, a lonely wail of horror and outrage, of shame and defeat. (Chapter 13)
"I figured even if there was a nuclear war, it would still leave radioactive cockroaches and your mum." (Chapter 14, Charlie speaking to Rosie)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

When Fat Charlie's dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie "Fat Charlie." Even now, 20 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. Because 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. And all of a sudden, things start getting very interesting for Fat Charlie. Exciting, scary, and deeply funny, Anansi Boys is a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth, a wild adventure, as Neil Gaiman shows us where gods come from, and how to survive your family.

No library descriptions found.

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)

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