Anansi Boys
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Anansi Boys (American Gods #2)

by
3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  102,372 ratings  ·  4,839 reviews

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.

Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by HarperTorch (first published September 20th 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
City of Bones by Cassandra ClareMoon Called by Patricia BriggsVampire Academy by Richelle MeadHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingDead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
The Best Urban Fantasy
32nd out of 2,215 books — 8,324 voters
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingThe Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Best Books of the Decade: 2000s
99th out of 4,620 books — 22,546 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Seth Hahne
I laughed out loud. While reading. In a Japanese rice bowl joint. Okay, so maybe it was more of a chortle, but it was definitely out loud. And more than just the once. Patrons quietly minding their own business while slogging through their Number Three Specials With Extra Tokyo Beef would be startled into wakefulness to see me - chopsticks in one hand, book in the other - as my grizzled maw broke forth with guffaws and irrepressible smiles.

Really, Anansi Boys may be the first thing I've read fro...more
Qiana
I agree with many of the reviewers who praise this fun and inventive novel, but I am especially fascinated by how Gaiman represents race in Anansi Boys. He chooses not to explicitly identify that his globe-trotting main characters are black until at least p. 32 (if I'm mistaken, somebody please let me know) and only then as a point-of-fact that is secondary to their status as gods. It is true that anyone who has read American Gods or heard traditional African folktales will have met Anansi befor...more
Keely
I've come to recognize that one of the main reasons I enjoyed this book so much was that I listened to the audiobook, performed by comedian Lenny Henry, whose background as a Brit of Caribbean descent made him the perfect choice to bring the characters to life. A lot of audiobooks aren't very good, but this one way great, and really brings out the fact that Anansi stories are meant to be heard.

It's recognizable Gaiman stuff, with the fish-out-of-water narrator in a modern fantasy world, with the...more
Amanda
A Digression and a Review:

When I was a child who was much too prone to being serious for her own good, there was a catalpa tree in our backyard. Now, if you don't know what a catalpa tree is, it's worth a Google. Catalpas are beautiful and exotic, with giant leaves we used as "plates" to have fairy-like meals of mulberry and honeysuckle (with mimosa blossoms as a bit of garnish), giant bean pods that hung down like sylvan fingers ready to ensnare an unsuspecting child, white orchid-like flowers...more
StoryTellerShannon
ANANSI BOYS (hereinafter AB) is the archetype tale of the hero's quest but in place of the typical warrior hero is a fool, and, oh, it happens to take place in our days and there is the wonder of something magical yet not totally seen.

Our fool of a hero is Fat Charlie. He used to be chubby as a kid but now he's in good enough shape yet everyone remembers him as Fat Charlie so the name sticks, much to his chagrin, and, it's all the fault of his father.

Wait, did I tell you his father is a trickste...more
Jason Koivu
Anansi Boys is like a rollercoaster without the loops, very few twists and one that keeps the speed to a minimum. You strap yourself in, ready for excitement that never materializes. My god, I've never felt more luke warm towards a book in my life.

The mildly interesting story is of a somewhat relatable modern day slacker coming to grips with his father's and brother's overwhelming personalities as well as a fantasy world he didn't know existed. I'm tired of stories with modern day slackers brin...more
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Another superb story by one of my favorite authors. While not a sequel to his superb American Gods, it shares the title character with that book along with some references to his adventures in that story. While those references add to the richness of the tale, there is no necessity of reading American God first (except for the obvious one that it is one of the best books ever).

Anyway, this story center around Charles "Fat Charlie" Nancy, a timid, passive man from London whose...more
Brad
I love Neil Gaiman's Sandman so much that I am desperate to love the rest of his work, but I can't do much more than like it because it's mostly only okay.

He deals with all the stuff I love -- mythology, the occult, death, dreams, the urban fantastic -- but he's too tongue-in-cheek. When I read one of his novels, I feel like I'm reading the Nick Hornby of fantasy. Too clever, too hip and too cool for his own good.

It's not that I don't like his prose work. I do. And I even love some of it (like W...more
Patrick
One of the few Gaiman books that I only gush mildly about, as opposed to gushing enthusiastically.

It's a solid book, and it does all the things that makes Gaiman's books great. It's got humor, myth, gravitas, cleverness.... But it simply didn't impress me as much as Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, or Coriline.

I'm willing to admit that the only reason I don't rank this book as 5 stars is because I'm comparing it to his other books, which are profound and perfect. That's probably unfair of...more
Kate
May 23, 2007 Kate rated it 1 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Sci-fi fans, Gaiman newbies
I'm not sure what I was expecting. I had quite a bit of knowledge about the Anansi stories going in (my dad, a college prof, was also a professional storyteller while I was growing up, and the Anasi stories were part of his routine) -- perhaps someone who was meeting Anansi for the first time via Gaiman would feel differently. Though multi-layered, it was light enough to feel deceptively simple, yet I felt as though it lacked... something.

Notes I made while reading (I read this for a Book Club)...more
Kirstine
To be quite honest with you, I didn't particularly like the first third of this book. It's got nothing to do with the way it's written (Neil Gaiman is as funny and imaginative as ever), it was something else. The things is, I'm a sucker for sibling relationships and I was pleasantly surprised to find one in this book. But Spider and Fat Charlie spend the first half of this book arguing and generally making each others lives hell and it just made me uncomfortable. There were other things too, lik...more
Madeline
It's remarkable, really, how long I was permitted to exist without reading Neil Gaiman. In retrospect, I suppose it's a good thing that I didn't read any of his books until college - had I been exposed to his work in high school, the result would have been a near-obsession filled with pages of awful fanfiction and an emotional meltdown when I learned that Mr. Gaiman is happily married.

But this didn't happen, thankfully. My first Neil Gaiman book was American Gods, and when my roommate (a much m...more
Maggie Stiefvater
I kept intending to write a proper review/ recommendation of ANANSI BOYS, which I read while I was in Australia, but for some reason, every time I sat down to write it, all that came out were words in one syllables, which makes for a lousy book review. Sample copy of my early blog posts about ANANSI BOYS:

This book is good.
This book is fast.
This book is fun.
This book is what it says it is.
Which is fun.
This book is a good, fast, fun read.

I'm just not sure it's going to get any better than that. I...more
Laura
Some people might prefer American Gods, with that epic tone, but I prefer Anansi Boys, and not just because it's entertaining and lighthearted, but because it seems to have been pulled off much more smoothly. Finally, Gaiman is writing about someone more like himself than Shadow was- a person who lives in England having adventures in America. Though Fat Charlie is American by origin, he's very British, and I guess that just made it easier for Gaiman because he took it and ran with it and everyth...more
Zoe Russo
Mr. Gaiman has the same problem as Terry Pratchet. He can present the material, but he can't make me care. It's not a good sign when you're halfway through a book and you realize that if you put down the book and walked away right then and there, and never found out how the book ended, you wouldn't care. I don't care whether things work out between him and Rosie. I don't care if his dad is still alive or not. I don't care if he and his brother ever make up. I wouldn't care if the author ended th...more
Synesthesia
I love this book. No wonder it's been the One Book I want to Read. I couldn't find my autographed copy of it so I bought a paperback of it.
This book is full of things I love such as spiders, fedoras, and humour. It's kind of a loose sequel to American Gods only funnier and less dark focusing on Anansi and his sons.
It's a pure delight. The only thing better than this book would be a spider in a fedora and just try to get a fedora on a spider.
Brownbetty
May 16, 2008 Brownbetty marked it as abandoned-unfinished
It is time to admit I am not going to finish this book. It sat next to my bed with the spine cracked open to chapter two for I don't know how many months without my even touching it. The reason why is very simple: I cannot stand the protagonist, Fat Charlie. He is an utter drip. He's winging, and useless, and sort of ill-willed about it.

I got far enough in to meet the second major character, Spider, who is incredibly obnoxious , at which point I put the book down for however many months it's bee...more
Erika
The book begins, as most things do, with a song--karaoke in fact. Bad karaoke of the kind only fun with large amounts of alcohol and friends (or blonde, buxom women) who sing just as bad as you do with just as much drunken enthusiasm.

When we left Mr. Nancy (nan-cee from A-nan-si--get it? Gaiman: You. Me. Mad Gab match.) in American Gods he was winding down with Shadow at a karaoke bar. With Anansi Boys, Mr. Nancy--now, I'm-not-hiding-my-Godness-Anansi, we learn, has 2 children, only one whose ge...more
Becky
I really enjoyed this story. It's semi-related to Neil's "American Gods", but not much. This is more like a spin-off than a sequel, or even a companion. I enjoyed "American Gods" for a lot of reasons - it was kind of dark and mysterious and contained a lot of mythology. This book is much lighter, more fun and even jaunty.

I listened to this one, rather than read it, and had been using it as soothing background noise when I'd get a migraine, just letting it kind of wash over me and take my mind o...more
April
It's rare that I ever find myself describing a story as 'charming'. Really, it's just a word that never seemed to suit any particular story I read until Anansi Boys came along.

I think it's firstly because the following is quite possibly one of my favourite ever passages in literature:

“Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn't a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their song. Most of us fear that we cannot do...more
Scott
Even though I consistently enjoy him, I'm quite convinced that Gaiman is one of the most consistently overrated authors writing now. I somehow think that he may actually be a better essayist than storyteller, because he has very interesting ideas about the role of stories and myth, but, though he has hit a few narrative home runs (I think of The Game of You and Coraline in particular), most of his other works fall short for me storywise.

Maybe part of my problem with this book was reading it so c...more
nfwbls
I found Anansi Boys to be a bit of a disappointment after American Gods. It's definitely a lighter read, which isn't always a bad thing, but in this case the mix of humans and mythology lacked freshness. It was not only a paler imitation of American Gods but also of other novels with the same premise. It's not Gaiman's fault that just this last year I've read a number of young adult novels like "The Lightning Thief" that do the same thing better than Anansi Boys, but it certainly didn't help.

I f...more
Jr Bacdayan
American Gods > Anansi Boys > Any Twilight or Teenage Fantasy Love Story Novel

Gaiman’s sequel to American Gods doesn’t disappoint. It may not be as good as the first, but it has its own unique charm. Where American Gods was dark and heavy, Anansi Boys is light and comical, that is without losing the trademark Gaiman enchantment. It’s still about gods, but it’s more down to earth and is more invested on the humanistic aspect of things. The protagonist is a guy named Fat Charlie, the son of...more
rhea
I read this book under the impression that it was a sequel or prequel or something to American Gods, but it wasn't, luckily I realized that early so I wouldn't dwell. It may take place in the same or a similar world, but unless I'm remembering wrong, there's really only one sentence that makes it truly related. The sentence would be a spoiler, so I won't talk about that anymore. I am not sure if it's because I knew this (even if at the time I forgot) or if the book was just predictable. There wa...more
Phoebe
Anansi Boys is the semi-sequel to one of my all time favorites, American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman again combines the fantastics of mythology with strongly rendered modern characters and a clear, joyful narration. The focus of Anansi Boys is more narrow than the preceding volume; here, Gaiman focuses entirely on the West African figure of Anansi, and he does a good job capturing the mischievousness and liveliness of that oral tradition and melding it with a more modern father-son tale.

I listen...more
Chris
When I started in on this book, I knew there were a few things I could expect from Neil Gaiman - insight, clever twists on literary assumptions, a good perspective on the nature of our reality. What I didn't expect was to spend most of the book laughing out loud and disturbing the people around me.

Seriously, there were some times when teachers in the rooms next to the staff room had to explain to students that no, Chris is not eavesdropping and laughing at you, he just has a really funny book. I...more
David
Jul 27, 2012 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Spiders, tigers, and people who say "Yes" when someone asks "Are you a god?"
Neil Gaiman is a fine storyteller. I'm just starting to think his repertoire of stories is very small.

To be clear, I liked Anansi Boys (hence the 4-star rating). It's entertaining all the way through. It's clever, it's funny, it draws on a lot of tales mythology buffs will geek out over, and for anyone who liked American Gods, it's basically more of the same.

Which is kind of the problem: it's just more of the same.

There are a lot of ways Fat Charlie is like Shadow, the protagonist of American Go...more
Giuseppe
Difficilmente i libri mi lasciano di buonumore. Mi colpiscono, mi arricchiscono, mi entusiasmano, alcune volte mi schifano, molte altre volte invece non mi provocano alcuna reazione. Certe volte mi fanno anche ridere di gusto ma è quasi sempre una risata estemporanea. Chiusa la pagina, la risata scompare dal mio volto e torno ai pensieri quotidiani.

Questo libro invece ha avuto la capacità di lasciarmi un sorriso perdurante, un'espressione inebetita ed imperitura sul mio volto. Una dolcezza di fo...more
Mike
Contrary to some critics who take themselves quite seriously who thumbed their noses at "Anansi Boys," I, who do not take my self too seriously, loved it. Is it as good a novel as "American Gods?" Well, yes it is. However, it is a different kind of tale. You will not find the darkness layered on so thickly in "American Gods" in this tale. Nor do I think that Gaiman intended the reader to find the same level of seriousness in what Gaiman calls his follow up "adult" novel to "American Gods." Gaima...more
Kathryn
Oct 22, 2010 Kathryn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathryn by: Tyler
LOVED IT!!! I've spent several days musing over my review, feeling that I can't come up with one worthy enough. I don't really want to say too much about the story because so much of the fun and fascination comes with the little twists and turns and discoveries along the way. This is a book about storytelling, about family, about understanding yourself as you are--and then finding to courage to be even better and more complete than that. It's about finding our better half--the one that is inside...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Tapping the Dream Tree (Newford, #12)
  • Men at Arms (Discworld, #15)
  • Fables, Vol. 15: Rose Red (Fables, #15)
  • Twilight Watch (Watch, #3)
  • Hexwood
  • The Jennifer Morgue (Laundry Files, #2)
  • Last Call (Fault Lines, #1)
  • Monstrous Regiment
  • Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3)
  • Voice of the Fire
American Gods The Graveyard Book Coraline Neverwhere Stardust

Share This Book

52 trivia questions
5 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn't a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or too odd. So people live their song instead.” 1081 likes
“Everybody going to be dead one day, just give them time.” 474 likes
More quotes…