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Publisher's Summary

God is dead. Meet the kids.

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

Critic Reviews

  • Locus Award, 2006
  • Alex Award, 2006

" "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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall

Another multi-genre novel

Gaimon has successfully produced another genre-defying novel that mixes detective and fantastic and humor all together. Although I enjoyed American Gods much more, I thought this was a very good follow-up to American Gods. I wish we could give half-stars, because I think I would give it a 3-1/2. I liked the characters, and the story, though, while American Gods was epic, this was jsut a good story. I was thoroughly entertained, and the narration was good, though, I was really hoping for something on as big a scale as American Gods. Still, this is a solid book, and I am glad I listened to it.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 01-02-06

A Fun Follow-Up

This follow-up (NOT sequel) to Gaiman's "American Gods" follows the adventure of Fat Charlie Anansi, the son of an African spider god, and his journey to discover himself while dealing with his mischevious twin brother. This is a fun, funny, touching book, different from the novel that inspired it, yet just as magical and fun as any of Gainman's works. British actor and comedian Lenny Henry does a great job narrating this tale with the right amount of humourous befudlement and sincere honesty.
If you enjoy modern fantasy, or are just looking for a good story read well then I strongly encourage you to give this wonderful tale a try. Neil Gaiman is one of the best authors alive today and you deserve to experience a glimpse into his head! Don't forget to download Gaiman's introduction to this book as well, also available through Audible.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Brilliant narration by Lenny Henry!

The narrator, Lenny Henry, is in fact a black Britisher of Jamaican parentage. He's an actor and stand-up comedian quite well known in Great Britain and does a brilliant job narrating this richly entertaining comic novel. According to IMDB.com, he's also a friend of Neil Gaiman.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Best Narration Ever!

Would you listen to Anansi Boys again? Why?

This was the most enjoyable books I have heard in a long time. My wife and I listened to it on the drive back from Colorado. The drive was 1700 miles, so there was plenty of time to listen straight through. Our only disappointment was that it ended before the trip concluded. It is a wonder that the High Way Patrol didn't stop us because we were laughing so hard.

What did you like best about this story?

Lenny Henry was an outstanding narrator. He brought out the nuances of each character in a way that you could never experience by just reading the book. This was the best narration of a book ever.

Which character – as performed by Lenny Henry – was your favorite?

I loved his portrayal of Spider, who was almost the polar opposite of Fat Charley.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Fat Charley went to the wrong funeral and tried to make amends with his father, only to find out it was the wrong funeral (for someone's grandmother). It was hilarious.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful!

I loved this story. Neil Gaiman spins a tale of the African Gods and infuses it with messages of family, love, and how to believe in yourself. Lenny Henry is the best narrator I've ever listened to. I could listen to this story repeatedly and never tire of it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Anansi's Shadow

I started reading Anansi Boys immediately after finishing Gaiman's previous novel, American Gods. While it is the same universe, the tone of Anansi Boys is totally different from its predecessor. Anansi Boys is still a story about Gods and mythology, this time exclusively African, but it feels a bit more lighthearted while remaining compelling. Seriously, once I started this I couldn't put it down.

Also, I was hesitant at first to go from American God's full cast narration to a single narrator, but Lenny Henry is absolutely outstanding all on his own. It was a tough act to follow, but this performance really pulls it off. Beyond highly recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Gypsycat
  • Madison, WI, United States
  • 02-02-15

My favorite Gaiman story

This tale is magical and family friendly. It's a bit softer and happier than several of Gaiman's stories, with a happy ending. I very much enjoyed the tales of trickster Anansi, the three old ladies, and seeing Fat Charlie grow into himself. The narration by Lenny Henry is superb!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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One of the best narrations ever!

I love Neil Gaiman, and the story is great, if a little slow starting, but this narrator is just wonderful. Lenny Henry brings life to so many different characters, his accents are spot on, and he breathed life into the book for me.

The story itself is also wonderful; what I love about Neil Gaiman is that I can't see where he's going all the time. I don't know how I feel about his books until they're done, and almost always, I love them upon closing the last page. It's so wonderful to be surprised and delighted, and Gaiman does that for me.

Definitely pick this one up; I can't recommend it highly enough.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • BLOOMINGTON, IN, United States
  • 05-09-13

A great book even better by fantastic narration!

Gaiman is an incredible writer and I've loved everything he's written. I didn't think he could get better than narrating his own books but Lenny Henry does an AMAZING job with this book. He does the accents perfectly, times the jokes just right, and conveys Gaiman's sense of myth and reality in a way that makes the audio version even more compelling than the print version.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Ryan
  • Somerville, MA, United States
  • 10-30-11

Light-hearted fun, great in audio form

Anansi Boys follows a similar formula to Gaiman's American Gods: take characters from folklore and mythology (in this case, Afro-Caribbean) and put them into a modern setting. This book is more light-hearted than American Gods, though, and I found it more fun to read. If you don't get a laugh out of Gaiman's colorful conception of Anansi as a smooth-talking, fun-loving, and thoroughly incorrigible old man, or the ultra-cool, multi-talented, and equally irresponsible Spider, or the many lines of witty dialogue and description, you might not have a sense of humor. The story, which involves a shlumpy but decent-hearted office worker nicknamed Fat Charlie, who happens to be Anansi's son, making a wish that he comes to regret, and trying to rectify it with a bargain that he comes to regret even more, follows familiar folklore tropes, but it's charmingly well-excuted.

Possibly my favorite of Gaiman's books that I've read so far, but American Gods is enjoyable, too. However, I have to say that you're missing something if you merely *read* this novel -- Gaiman renders the characters with the color and storybook flair that they deserve, effortlessly switching between Caribbean, African-American, and British accents. Get it from audible (I found it on sale) or seek out the CD version.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful