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Anansi Boys [Audio Cassette]

Neil Gaiman , Lenny Henry
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover CDN $18.87  
Paperback CDN $13.36  
Mass Market Paperback CDN $9.89  
Preloaded Digital Audio Player CDN $77.91  
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Book Description

October 2005 Prosecutor Helen West & Detective Geoffrey Balley Mysteries

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.

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. If readers found the Sandman series creator's last novel, American Gods, hard to classify, they will be equally nonplussed—and equally entertained—by this brilliant mingling of the mundane and the fantastic. "Fat Charlie" Nancy leads a life of comfortable workaholism in London, with a stressful agenting job he doesn't much like, and a pleasant fiancée, Rosie. When Charlie learns of the death of his estranged father in Florida, he attends the funeral and learns two facts that turn his well-ordered existence upside-down: that his father was a human form of Anansi, the African trickster god, and that he has a brother, Spider, who has inherited some of their father's godlike abilities. Spider comes to visit Charlie and gets him fired from his job, steals his fiancée, and is instrumental in having him arrested for embezzlement and suspected of murder. When Charlie resorts to magic to get rid of Spider, who's selfish and unthinking rather than evil, things begin to go very badly for just about everyone. Other characters—including Charlie's malevolent boss, Grahame Coats ("an albino ferret in an expensive suit"), witches, police and some of the folk from American Gods—are expertly woven into Gaiman's rich myth, which plays off the African folk tales in which Anansi stars. But it's Gaiman's focus on Charlie and Charlie's attempts to return to normalcy that make the story so winning—along with gleeful, hurtling prose.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Charles Fat Charlie Nancy leads a normal, boring existence in London. However, when he calls the U.S. to invite his estranged father to his wedding, he learns that the man just died. After jetting off to Florida for the funeral, Charlie not only discovers a brother he didn't know he had, but also learns that his father was the West African trickster god, Anansi. Charlie's brother, who possesses his own magical powers, later visits him at home and spins Charlie's life out of control, getting him fired, sleeping with his fiancée, and even getting him arrested for a white-collar crime. Charlie fights back with assistance from other gods, and that's when the real trouble begins. They lead the brothers into adventures that are at times scary or downright hysterical. At first Charlie is overwhelmed by this new world, but he is Anansi's son and shows just as much flair for trickery as his brother. With its quirky, inventive fantasy, this is a real treat for Gaiman's fans. Here, he writes with a fuller sense of character. Focusing on a smaller cast gives him the room to breathe life into these figures. Anansi is also a story about fathers, sons, and brothers and how difficult it can be to get along even when they are so similar. Darkly funny and heartwarming to the end, this book is an addictive read not easily forgotten.–Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boys, boys! Feb. 24 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Neil Gaiman is best known for his witty, slightly wonky brand of dark fantasy. But he gets a bit lighter for "Anansi Boys," a sort of unconnected sequel to his hit "American Gods." You think your dad is embarrassing? Well, at least he's not a trickster god.

Fat Charlie's dad has always been weird -- brass bands for the terminally ill, nicknames that stick, and much more. But even away from his dad, Charlie isn't happy. Then he gets the news that his dad died during a karaoke song; when he goes to the funeral, an old neighbor tells him that Daddy was really Anansi the spider god. Even worse, Charlie finds out he has a brother.

Spider is everything Charlie isn't -- charming, debonair, witty, and magical. Soon he has not only taken over Fat Charlie's house, but his fiancee as well, distracting Fat Charlie from his boss's attempts to frame him. Determined to get rid of Spider, Fat Charlie enlists the Bird Woman's help -- but soon finds that his pact will only get them in deeper trouble with the ancient gods.

Trickerster gods -- Anansi, Loki, Kokopelli -- are always fun. And Gaiman makes the idea even more fun with "Anansi Boys." Sibling rivalry forms the backbone of the book, but it's also sprinkled with corporate intrigue, romance, and the old Anansi legends (which Gaiman inserts periodically). And of course -- lots and lots of humour.

With this lighter tone, Gaiman sounds a lot like his pal Terry Pratchett, right down to wry humor and comic timing. "There are three things, and three things only, that can lift the pain of mortality and ease the ravages of life. These things are wine, women and song." "Curry's nice too." Gaiman seems to be having a lot of fun in this book.

And nowhere is the fun more clear than in Spider and Fat Charlie.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! Oct. 24 2005
By Patrick St-Denis TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This is the story of what happens to someone when his father (who just so happens to be the trickster spider-god Anansi) doesn't have the decency to die appropriately. When Fat Charlie's father drops dead on a karaoke stage in Florida, holding on to the ample bosom of a tourist from Michigan, he will in effect ruin Fat Charlie's life.
And if that wasn't enough -- and God knows that it is more than enough for poor Charles -- Fat Charlie is also reunited with the mysterious twin brother he never knew he had, who will find several ways to mess things up and inadvertently make Fat Charlie's life miserable.
Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys is quite a treat to read. The pace is just perfect, with relatively short chapters that beg you to read just another one before your bedtime.
What gives this novel all its flavour is Gaiman's witty sense of humour. Pretty similar in style to that of Neal Stephenson, but with a story that is much more accessible. Indeed, anyone could read Anansi Boys and enjoy the ride. For me, Gaiman's sarcastic and ironic humour made me laugh out loud a number of times.
There is an endearing cast of characters, all of them more colorful than the other. The dialogues are great. Nothing is overdone. Everything speeds the story along, keeping you turning those pages.
As appear to be the case with each of Gaiman's novels, the imagery is arresting. If this author ever teamed up with Tim Burton to make a movie, it would probably be incredible!
The only shortcoming of this novel is that you reach the ending too rapidly. I wish it could have been longer. But the pace would like have suffered from that. . .
All in all, a truly wonderful read. Anansi Boys could well be the most fun you'll have reading this year! Definitely a book to buy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Different Kind Of Sequel/Spin-Off Nov. 19 2010
By Dave_42 TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Neil Gaiman is a very good, if not great, writer and he proved he is a smart writer as well with "Anansi Boys" (if there was any doubt). Whether you call it a sequel, or a spin-off, "Anansi Boys" is not an attempt to reproduce the amazing and incredible "American Gods". Instead, Gaiman produces a humorous novel, much lighter in feel, and much narrower in scope than its predecessor. By doing so, he has created a novel which can stand on its own merits, and will largely avoid a detailed comparison with its predecessor because the two are clearly very different.

The main character is Charlie Nancy, who is usually referred to as "Fat Charlie", though he isn't fat, but it is a nickname that his father gave him and it has stuck with him throughout his life. Charlie has become engaged, and his fiancé, Ruth, queries him about inviting his father to the wedding. This artful trick allows Gaiman to fill the reader on Charlie's history, the tricks his father played on him, and how he got to London while his Father lives in the U.S. At this point, Charlie is unaware that his father is the god Anansi, and he is unaware that his father has just died. In going to the funeral, Charlie's unusual family tree is revealed by old neighbors and friends of the family. They reveal not just the true nature of his father, but also the existence of Charlie's brother, Spider.

Initially Spider is quite different from Charlie, but throughout the book Spider becomes more like Charlie, and Charlie more like Spider, and they have the connection of brotherhood which allows Charlie to forgive Spider for the numerous tricks he plays on Charlie. Spider has inherited the magic and the trickster aspect of their father, while Charlie is much more mundane.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Short Read
Another fun and imaginative tale from Mr. Gaiman, Anansi Boys was a pleasure and a joy to read. Short and sweet, the story follows a timid protagonists who discovers his... Read more
Published 16 months ago by WH Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars Anansi Boys
Another great, quirky fantasy story from an author who I have quickly come to enjoy reading. Even though this wasn't my favourite Neil Gaiman novel (though it was much better than... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A Darkly Whimsical, Enticing Novel
Neil Gaiman, often quite dark departs slightly in Anansi Boys. His writing is still recognizable as his own, but Anansi Boys is much lighter than its companion novel, American Gods... Read more
Published on Nov. 2 2012 by hyperbeeb
5.0 out of 5 stars A reality/fantasy tale that is a delight!
Neil Gamon has found his stride again! Quite unlike the 'American Gods' debacle (see review) this time the author is able to mix fantasy and reality into a highly delightful tale... Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2010 by Ronald W. Maron
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil Gaiman!
Neil Gaiman creates a complex world yet again; his writing gets better with every book.
He has intricate sub-details that seem unimportant the first time you see them; don't... Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2009 by Marcy
4.0 out of 5 stars Anansi Boys
Neil Gaiman has been named as one of the top ten living post-modern writers (the Dictionary of Literary Biography). Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2009 by Clayton Bye
4.0 out of 5 stars Spiderboys
You think your dad is embarrassing? Well, at least he isn't an African trickster god -- now that would be nothing but trouble. Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2008 by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, great concept!!!
This is a great book by a talented author. Gaiman has used the same concept as his American Gods - i.e. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2006 by G. Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book I've Read This Year

I love the west African Anansi stories and this was a beautiful modern mixture of those stories. Fat Charlie was hilarious and Spider was charming as anything. Read more
Published on June 4 2006 by
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