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Anansi Boys: A Novel Hardcover – Sep 20 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (Sept. 20 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006051518X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060515188
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 717 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #131,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

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.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you enjoyed America Gods, you will get a kick out of this book. Not a sequel, but more of a "return" to the same world, only this time set in the UK as well.
I gave it 5 because I actually read it all the way through, unlike so much fiction these days, with our diminished attention spans!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book has a fascinating plot which will grab reader’s attention. The story begins with Fat Charlie’s father’s death in karaoke bar. At his father’s funeral, Charlie finds Mrs. Higgler. She tells him that his father was the West African trickster god, Anansi. She also tells him that he has a brother “Spider” and he can summon him by whispering to a spider. This is where all the fun begins. I enjoyed it because the plot was unpredictable. Some books that I read were predictable so it did not keep me interested for long. However, this book did grab my attention all the way through to the end. Even though this book is written for adults, I would recommend this book to teenagers like me and definitely for anyone who loves reading books related to mythology (for example, Percy Jackson series).
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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 or much of Gaiman's other works. It is a nice departure. The characters in Anansi Boys are engaging and the situations are humorous but still intense and exciting. Definitely a recommendation for someone who is a fan of Gaiman or anyone who enjoys fantasy novels or a darker humour.
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