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Anansi Boys Audiobook

Anansi Boys

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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

What the Critics Say

  • 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 Rating

4.5 (8935 )
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4.7 (6439 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 02-20-12
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 02-20-12 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

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    "Whimsical and Magical Fun"

    This is a story of life and love mixed with magic, myth, and mystery - a rare treat for me. Superb narration and perfectly paced delivery make this one much more special than just your run-of-the-mill fantasy selection. I particularly enjoyed the fables mixed into the story - even though I am terrified of spiders I found myself laughing and wanting more. This one is appropriate for young adults and those with lower thresholds for off-color humor or language - good clean fun :)

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Blacksburg, VA, USA 03-04-06
    John Blacksburg, VA, USA 03-04-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More narrow scope means better story"

    American Gods is one of the best books I've heard on Audible, and I didn't expect Anansi Boys to live up to that. It's far less ambitious in scope, but that turns out to be a strength, not a weakness. Despite being about corporeal gods, Anansi Boys is a very human story about what it means to become a whole person. It's also very nice to see a story involving mythological characters _not_ drawn from the Norse, the Greek, or the Romans.

    The narrator does an extraordinary job; I'll have to seek out more of his work as well, even if he isn't reading someone I'm familiar with.

    Incidentally, it's not necessary to have read American Gods first. I recommend reading/listening to both, but if you're trying to decide between one or the other, the tight focus and deeper character development make Anansi Boys stronger of the two, and it stands just fine on its own.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa L. Hilton 10-14-05 Member Since 2007
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    "Great story, great narrator"

    Part of the fun of this book was the narrator's wide range of voices for the difference characters. The other was the mixing of reality and fantasy that Gaiman does very well. This is a stand-alone book. No need to have read any of his other books, though if they're all this good, it might be worth tracking them down!

    Small warning: If you're easily grossed out, there's one passage near the climax that might be too much.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 04-16-11
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 04-16-11 Member Since 2016

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pure fun"

    After having just read American Gods and been totally submerged into a deep, dark ocean of bleakness, this book was like surfacing into a cool, clear pool of refreshing fun and frolic. Hard to believe anyone could have read the book better than Lenny Henry. It is not easy to impersonate various character voices in a book; it has to be even more difficult to convey their feelings and personalities. Few readers do even one of these well. Henry does both and seems to do so quite effortlessly. While a followup, Anansi Boys is not a sequel to American Gods. If you have not read Neil Gaiman this book along with Graveyard Story or Stardust might be a better place to start. Do not introduce yourself to NG with American Gods. While the latter could become your favorite NG, I doubt most would feel similarly.

    26 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 04-24-17
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 04-24-17

    I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Hear the words. I just don't want to sing & dance."

    “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

    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 family, brothers, myths, stories. It just fell a bit flat with me. Perhaps, like someone who has grown too old to see fairies or see magic, I'm just through a certain veil where Gaiman's prose works, but I KNOW -- I'm not feeling him the same way some are. I hear the words. I just don't want to sing and dance.

    Firmly in my forties, I feel almost obligated to keep reading Gaiman books even though they are past, for me, their expiration date. The magic is fading. But something still pulls me back in. They are the Lays Potato Chips of science fiction. Harsh? Perhaps, but perhaps it is just that I'm not directly Gaiman's fan base anymore. He isn't writing exactly for me and I know it. I feel it. But still, every few seasons -- I unavoidably -- reach into the greasy Gaiman bag for another book. I miss the song. I miss the dance. So, periodically, I open his books and try and recreate those first few pages, the first few times. I try to put my youth and magic back into a bottle, but I don't have the focus or the patience.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AML Naperville, Il United States 02-18-15
    AML Naperville, Il United States 02-18-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Moderate"

    Not Neil's best. This book wasn't as good as his other works because I didn't really like his characters. Fat Charlie is hard to warm up to and his brother is mostly a prick. If you don't love he characters, it's hard to care about heir story.
    The performance was well done.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M Plainsboro, NJ, United States 02-02-13
    M Plainsboro, NJ, United States 02-02-13
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    "It began with a song..."

    Contrary to what many people will tell you, I think Neil Gaiman is at his best in this fantastic spin-off of American Gods. This is possibly one of the few books I have enjoyed listening to even more than I've enjoyed reading it.

    Fat Charlie didn't know that his late father was, in fact, the fabled trickster god, Anansi. Nor did he know that he had a brother who inherited all the "god stuff" leaving Charlie with what he doesn't realize is a marvelous singing voice.

    It's only after reaching out to his new-found brother, Spider, that Fat Charlie realizes his mistake and that just about anything is thicker than water.

    Anansi Boys is as much a story of two painfully different brothers who are forced together by curiosity and fate, as it is about the power of words and song over brute strength.

    This is definitely a light-hearted read that nonetheless has something to teach us about family and, perhaps, about storytelling, itself. Like much of Gaiman's work, Anansi boys is an ode to the power of stories to connect, change, and ultimately heal people as much as they did when they were first told and sung about animal gods, back in the beginning of time, at the end of the world.

    Such a story deserves an excellent narrator and Lenny Henry's performance is nothing short of perfection. This isn't surprising, considering that he was part of Neil Gaiman's inspiration for Spider. Lenny Henry's versatility and ability to capture even the smallest nuances of each character make him one of my favorite audiobook readers.

    This audiobook has my highest recommendations!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada 02-25-08
    Dan Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada 02-25-08
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    "Not American Gods, but just as enjoyable"

    I expected this book to be a sequel to the gritty and dark American Gods. I was therefore initially somewhat put off by its comedic nature.

    Much of the first half of the book could have been written by Douglas Adams. But that's not too shabby, since Adams' books were not only hilarious but also very cleverly crafted.

    After I got over my surprise, I found Anansi Boys to be as thoroughly entertaining and satisfying as American Gods. The second part of the book even recaptures some of drama and emotion of the earlier book.

    The narration was just as impressive as the story. Lenny Henry has the perfect voice and delivery for the characters he was portraying.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-27-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gaiman + Henry = Magic"

    This is my favorite of Gaiman's books, but what makes this recording truly exceptional is the narrator, Lenny Henry (Chef). His timing and tone capture the essence of characters in the book, from the whining Fat Charlie to the booming Mr. Anansi to the cluck-cluck-cluck of the elderly Carribean ladies. It is difficult to hit "pause" on this audiobook!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aimz SALT LAKE CITY, UT, United States 10-20-05
    Aimz SALT LAKE CITY, UT, United States 10-20-05 Member Since 2006

    Audible rawks! My taste is beyond eclectic and Audible always has plenty to choose from, no matter what mood I'm in!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfect Match!"

    If you know nothing of Mr. Gaiman previous works, listen to this one! If you loved the dialogue in his Sandman comics, this will bring back some fond memories! No extensive knowledge of pantheons or the supernatural is required. This is simply storytelling at its finest, bumped up to unheard of levels of aural bliss by possibly the best reader I've heard to date (this book should really say "Performed By" instead of "Read By", rather like the Harry Potter recordings). Every character comes to 3-D life through the perfectly merged talents of Msrs. Henry and Gaiman. The humour is deadly urban British wit by-way-of-the-West-Indies, with a few trips thru Florida, too. The scary bits are rendered even more jarring and cold-blooded thanks to the overall irreverent tone. Just remember: though Mr. Gaiman may have written the story and Mr. Henry may be telling the story, all stories are Anansi's. And when you finish listening to this tale, you'll want to ask the first spider you see to send Anansi your personal thanks!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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