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)
Compulsive reader, compulsive listener.
I'm a bibliophile and do read a lot of books in print. I'll never, EVER read this one. The combination of Lenny Henry extraordinary performance and Neil Gaiman's brilliant writing create a whole that is even better than the parts.
The story itself is touching and funny and terrifying by turns. Don't expect an American Gods sequel. The mood and feel is equally GOOD, but it's quite a different story. (Though the Guidall performance is excellent).
Lenny Henry's performance, though I hate to use a cliche, is just masterful. There's no other expression for it. His vocal characterizations are clear and distinct. He handles the Atlantic-jumping accents with the greatest of facility, making you almost forget it's being narrated by just one person.
It's one of the best audiobooks I've ever heard. Treat yourself. You won't be sorry.
Great novel and awesome narrator. I held off on getting this novel because I thought that it was geared toward a "young adult" audience...I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is a fantastical novel for all. I don't know how Neil Gaiman does it, but I hope he never stops. The reader was throughly entertaining from the first word to the last. I highly recommend this one!
American Gods had a heavy, dark feeling. This is lighter and more tightly focused on a handful of individuals, without the overarching epic feel of American Gods. The creativity of a world of semi-human gods wondering through the modern world is still there, but the troubles and schemes of these gods and their human counterparts and disciples and tools are more personal.
The story is touching, funny, and unexpected, and walks that fine line of metaphor and reality, where a deeper meaning is obvious but not so specific that it feels like a lesson. You live the world with the characters, aware of the deeper resonances of culture and change, but never feeling like you have to work too hard to follow it. It's a beautifully full, well written novel, without being heavy.
As others have said, the reader is very enjoyable, too.
I have, over the past few years, discovered Neil Gaiman's works in a patchwork sort of way.
Each novel I read or listen to seems to bring out more introspective thought in such a delightful manner.
As with American Gods previously, I found myself feeling each character - and wondering what my own reactions would be given their particular circumstances. I have been known to read, or listen to, a particularly fascinating book (or series) many times - taking on a different single character each time in order to more fully understand and enjoy them.
Mr. Gaiman has so thoroughly, and beautifully, written each that I can see myself doing the same here just to draw out the sheer pleasure of the story!
This is one of my favorite books and now it's one of my favorite audible books. Lenny Henry does a fabulous job of portraying the characters and you come away thinking the world is truly a magical place.
This book can perhaps be described as the opposite of a gritty crime novel. The reader/listener starts out in the normal world, and is convincingly introduced to supernatural happenings, people, and places. I found the story delightfully imaginative and could hardly tear myself away.
I find Neil Gaiman books either really good or really... not. This book was one of my favorites. The characters were colorful without being over the top. The humor was dark but not bleak. His supernatural world was believable. And the plot had twists but never veered completely off course.
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