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Anansi Boys

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4.02  ·  Rating details ·  180,512 ratings  ·  9,462 reviews
God is dead. Meet the kids.

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.
Mass Market Paperback, 387 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by HarperCollins HarperTorch (first published September 20th 2005)
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T. Blake Neil Gaiman has mentioned in several interviews that Anansi Boys is most mistakenly viewed as a sequel, when all he did was roll over some of the…moreNeil Gaiman has mentioned in several interviews that Anansi Boys is most mistakenly viewed as a sequel, when all he did was roll over some of the characters from American Gods. If I remember correctly, he's also mentioned that he started writing Anansi Boys first but American Gods ended up being published first. Hope that helps.(less)
Dustyanne To be honest, I never knew it was a sequel. I was able to read both books and it didn't matter which order I read them, you are able to follow both…moreTo be honest, I never knew it was a sequel. I was able to read both books and it didn't matter which order I read them, you are able to follow both easily. They are wonderful stories.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  180,512 ratings  ·  9,462 reviews


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Jayson
(B+) 76% | Good
Notes: Little transition between its real-world first half and its magical second half. Its story gets all wishy-washy at the end.
Seth T.
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Qiana Whitted
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Lyn
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman blends the best attributes of Gaiman’s extraordinary talent: excellent writing, original storytelling, mythic elements, and confidence.

A central theme in the narrative is about confidence and that is also how Gaiman tells the tale, his writing exudes confidence, he writes with a virtuoso’s swagger. Not really taking off where American Gods left off, but neither does it depart from Gaiman’s myth and legends foundations, Anansi Boys sings the song of Fat Charlie, Mr.
...more
Patrick
Jun 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
J.G. 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
Jun 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
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
Miranda Reads
Fat Charlie (his dad gave him the nickname (it's a sore spot)) spent his entire life absolutely mortified by his dad.

Of course, everyone's parents are embarrassing. It goes with the territory. The nature of parents is to embarrass merely by existing, just as it is the nature of children of a certain age to cringe with embarrassment

Then his dad does the unthinkable - he had the nerve to die. Now Fat Charlie has to go back to America for the first time in years and midway through the funeral -
...more
Lisa
Well, this felt a bit like a spider getting drunk while reading a history of literary genres, and then spinning a thread and getting all tangled up in the different genres himself while trying to make sense of the pattern he created.

The web is a fable posing as a detective story posing as an embarrassing coming of age and heartbreak story mixed with fantasy and crime, put in a treasure chest and shipped off to the pirates of the Caribbean, where it decides to change shape and take a chapter's
...more
Apatt
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Previously Goodreads listed this book as “Anansi Boys (American Gods #2)”, this has since been fixed by Raven the ace GR librarian. Anyway, Anansi Boys is not American Gods #2, the character Anansi does, however, appears in American Gods (as Mr. Nancy) so the two books are related but there is no need to read one to follow the other.

Anansi Boys is about Anansi’s two sons, the absence of an apostrophe-S after Anansi’s name notwithstanding. The first one we are introduced to is Charles Nancy,
...more
Fabian
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A delight (& the first of Gaiman's books that I've read to get the full ***** from me)! It's got that outrageous "Freaky Friday"/Prince & the Pauper narrative; Britishisms a-la Evelyn Waugh; and a peck of Douglas Adams's brand of whimsy (this is infinitely better than Hitchhiker's Guide, & much better than the author's own Stardust AND Neverwhere). It's adorably Beetlejuician!! What's not to like, huh?
Maggie Stiefvater
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended
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
Jason Koivu
Jul 26, 2010 rated it liked it
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
...more
Brad
Mar 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
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
...more
Madeline
Dec 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Shannon
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
...more
Gabrielle
"Stories are like spiders, with all their long legs, and stories are like spiderwebs, which man gets himself all tangled up in but which look so pretty when you see the under a leaf in the morning dew, and in the elegant way that they connect to one another, each to each."

My friend Kelly is one of those wonderful, eccentric people who is perfectly happy to be herself and doesn't care what anyone else thinks. I wouldn't call her weird, but I would definitely not call her normal. Her daughters
...more
Darwin8u
Apr 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
“The important thing about songs is that they're just like stories. They don't mean a damn unless there's people listenin' to them.”
― Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys

description

I spent the evening avoiding my nightly duties to my family while slowly pruning in the tub while reading this. Time to transfer back into my normal wrinkles and be a grown up.

The book was good. Not great. But it was playful. I can see how many of my friends would love it. Stop. Many of my friends DO love it. It is a song and dance about
...more
Emory's Defunct Profile
Jan 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
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 ...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
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: dark-fantasy
To me, Gaiman has never surpassed or even equaled his writing in NEVERWHERE. Here again, I found ANANSI BOYS about on the same level with AMERICAN GODS. A pretty decent read, but nothing terribly special. It's one of those books I had no problem finishing, but I would definitely not read it again.
Robin (Bridge Four)
I really can’t decide if I like Neil Gaiman. So far I’ve read a few of his books and they are missing something that I just can’t seem to put my finger on. I think what I’ve come to discover is that this is one of the rare instances that I prefer an authors movies more than the books they write.

At one point around 80% in I almost just put the book down to wander off into something else never to return to it. But it seemed silly to read almost all of a book and not finish.

description

But I finished and
...more
Ashley Daviau
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book WAY more my second time reading it. The first time I read it I went into it thinking it was a continuation of American Gods and it most definitely is not that so I was a little let down. But this time I knew what I was getting into and I was able to fully appreciate the spectacular story that Anansi Boys actually is! I thought the plot was incredibly interesting and I loved learning more about Anansi and his background. You get little glimpses in American Gods but this was so ...more
Donna
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
2.5 stars
I should have known better than to try another book by Gaiman after too many disappointments from him in the past. But I've read just enough good work by him to keep me coming back, hoping to strike gold again. Unfortunately, all I found here was fool's gold. Maybe that sounds harsh, considering the story was very imaginative, rich in details stemming from a myth originating in an African folktale. But here's why I think this book glitters only on the surface.

The character from the
...more
Amanda NEVER MANDY
My brain is mush and is refusing to cooperate with this review. I have tried writing from my angry ocean, my sarcastic sea and my happy puddle only to discover that the water is either frozen over, shallow or all dried up. I do have a waterfall of sorrow I could tap into but once I go over it there isn’t any coming back for a bit and I am not up for the useless back paddling.

I liked the book but I did not like it as much as I did American Gods. Technically, it’s not fair to compare the two
...more
Puck
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd read, 2019 : I had forgotten about the lime, so that made my reread already worth it! Overall I enjoyed this book as much as I did the first time, although I now really noticed how sloooow the plot is, and how strong the insta-love. Why both Spider and Charlie are so head-over-heels for Rosie beats me...Maeve remains the queen of the female characters. You go honey, get your bloody revenge!


Original review:

“The important thing about songs is that they're just like stories. They don't mean
...more
Anita
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another terrific literary journey from Neil Gaiman. Started a little slow, but gradually picked up pace and the fantasy adventure begins. Gaiman creates such incredible alternate realities, the worlds of gods and spirits become so real and tangible you can't help but be caught up in them like they are part of your own scene. Very emotional ending for me, but the emotions were elation and satisfaction. This has become my favorite Gaiman novel.
Faith
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, overdrive
This was my first experience with Gaiman and it was a perfect way for me to recover from a string of books that I did not like at all. It was a witty urban fantasy and the audiobook had excellent narration by Lenny Henry.

Fat Charlie discovers upon the death of his estranged father that his father was the god Anansi and that Fat Charlie has a brother named Spider who can be summoned by giving a message to any spider he encounters. Unfortunately, Fat Charlie sends this message and the arrival of
...more
Vivian
Well, that was completely different.

The start of this was a little rough going for me. I had a hard time not wanting to shake Fat Charlie Nancy. He's the kind of guy that's a doormat for about everyone else in his life, and it's a little disheartening. I'm a buck up and cheerleader type, also a slug the A-holes in the face type, though apparently one look is usually enough for someone to reconsider their commitment to a situation. Something about the I don't care if I don't win as long as you
...more
Bea
3 stars I guess. Got kind of distracted towards the end but understood the gist of the story.
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