When Fat Charlie's dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie "Fat Charlie." Even now, twenty 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.
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, just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie.
Because, you see, Charlie's dad wasn't just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. Some said he could cheat even Death himself.
Returning to the territory he so brilliantly explored in his masterful New York Times best seller American Gods, the incomparable Neil Gaiman offers up a work of dazzling ingenuity, a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth that is at once startling, terrifying, exhilarating, and fiercely funny, a true wonder of a novel that confirms Stephen King's glowing assessment of the author as "a treasure house of story, and we are lucky to have him."
©2005 Neil Gaiman; (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers
" "Excellent." (Stephen King)
"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." (Publishers Weekly)
I don't know Gaiman's work but really enjoyed the whimsy and humor and imagination of this story. It has a quirkiness that makes for an enjoyable "read" but Lenny Henry's reading - really it is a performance - is out of this world. His accents are wonderful, you can conjure all the images from his voice from the strange brothers, the little old Carribean ladies, the phantasmagoric animals. Just wonderful and some of it made me smile for miles of walking.
The story was straightforward, but it was highly entertaining.
The narrator of the Anansi stories.
It was pretty funny throughout.
Fat Charlie Nancy!
Laughed and cried.
Four stars only because Gaiman has done better, specifically American Gods in this same universe.
I'll confess that this isn't my favorite Gaiman book. I really enjoy his methodologically based books but I prefer the characters whose background I am familiar with. I'm not sure that I had ever heard of Anansi before I heard Gaiman's references to him and that made the characters a little less familiar and comfortable to me.
However, Gaiman does a good job of filling out the history of Anansi and some of his rivals. The characters are very interesting and grow on you quickly.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone but if you're new to Gaiman and new to Anansi then you may enjoy one of Gaiman's other titles first.
This one is described as a sequel to American gods, (Which was an excellent book) and while it plays in the same world, it's not really connected. Myth and legend told for a modern audience. A lovably innocent protagonist, haplessly dragged into a world of magic and gods by accident. His father a selfish, good natured and totally goofy god. His brother, an equally goofy pain in the neck who won't go away. The way Gaiman mixes myth with the modern world is a real treat to read. And he weaves in a subtle thread of absurdity that will make you laugh out loud. Add to all this a really excellent narrator, who would give Jim Dale a run for his money, and you got a winner.
I think American Gods was a better book, but the narration was far better in Anansi boys.
You don't need to read them both in the order they were published, but you do need to read them both.
I had never heard of Neil Gaiman until I joined audible about 2 years ago. This is the second novel of his that I have enjoyed, and you can be sure there will be more in my library before too long.
Absolutely, and I have. It is a fabulous, layered, funny story that's wonderfully told. Neil Gaiman is a master storyteller and with Lenny Henry he's found an excellent "partner in voice."
Fat Charlie was my favorite character. He was everyman and I loved his journey of discovery not just that he WAS a god, but that he COULD BE a god. Fat Charlie was so much more than the every day accountant he thought he was or the man he thought he could be.
Lenny Henry brought the reader to a new level of imagination for each character he captured -- human, god, animal or otherwise. I really enjoyed his performance, especially the shift from shy Fat Charlie to slick, easy Spider. And special props to him for his portrayal of the older women.
As much as I loved Lenny Henry's performance... I'd have loved to have listened to Neil Gaiman read this too. I've listened to other authors read their own books on "tape" and wished they had used an actor, but I think Gaiman has the range and story telling ability to pull it off.
Thanks for bringing us Anansi Boys. It is my favorite audio book so far.
Charlie's development and maturity
Just a fun read but nowhere as good as the full cast and in depth story of American gods
The amazing accents and attitudes
Fun, whimsical, fable
It made me think of Terry Pratchett books although it is closer to reality. The characters are fantastical but the plot and relationships are easy to relate to the real world.
The accents! He is marvelous and really gives the feeling of the characters. I particularly enjoyed how he portrayed the old ladies.
Sometimes you need a brother to be complete.
I thought this story was light humor and fun. easy listen and sounded just fine, even though i don't like a man reading a woman's part. Sounds a little creepy.
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