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)
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.
The story is entertaining and occasionally slightly funny. However, the narrator really ruins it for me. I can't tell if he's doing an Eastern American, Jamacan, Louisiana or South eastern US accent for all of the non-british characters. It makes my eye twitch and ruins any sort of atmosphere the story itself is trying to create.
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.
This is a good book. The author was able to create a very good plot without weighing it down with unnecessary elements. If I had one qualm it was that I was not 100% behind the author's writing style, but I have to say that I very much enjoyed this story.
If you don't love the bloodline of Anansi, your heart's a lump of coal and your sense of humor has atrophied. This is a wonderful manifestation of Gaiman's quirky genius. He's erudite without ever even approaching pretentious. He's intensely moral, but takes on human frailty with humor and compassion. Plus, Lenny Henry is truly perfect and captures the Caribbean cum British accents that-at least to my American ear-seems perfect and gives an added dimension to listening without intruding on your sense of the story. He's up there with Jim Dale and Stephen Fry.)
Anansi Boys is a great, fun book and Lenny Henry is the perfect narrator. He captures the accents and humour in the book very well and really brings the characters to life.
This story moves along and is interesting, fun and easy to keep up with. But the narrator is the jewel in this audio. A wonderful talent for changing gender and nationality without a hitch, or an unbelievable voice in the bunch. I looked to see what else he has done, nothing else but a childrens book. :-( I will SO be watching for this narrator again!
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