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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


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  • Overall
  • Lisa
  • Attleboro, MA United States
  • 01-10-11

Good but not his best.

I guess I didn't connect to the main characters at all. At the end I understood why they were faulty. I've read two others of his books prior to this one and I loved them, so this was kind of a let down.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sherry
  • Oakland, CA USA
  • 02-24-07

great storytelling

Wonderful story, great narration (one of the best I've heard - wish he did more!). Laugh out loud funny in places. Highly recommended if you like fantasy and mythological lore in a modern day setting with an everyman, relatable main character.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • William
  • Kennesaw, GA, USA
  • 12-06-05

Wonderful Comic Fantasy

If you're a Gaiman fan you know he writes many different styles. This is comic fantasy, in the style of "Good Omens." There is some romance, that might appeal to "Stardust" fans. Combining the African spirit stories of the animal gods with the sensibilites of a BBC sit-com, Gaiman pulls off a neat trick in making the listener laugh, cry and feel child-like wonder in this rapid-moving tale of brothers trying to reconcile after the death of their father.

The narrator is wonderful, with voices that bring the nasty villains and the banal hero to life. He puts a movie in your head, and it's a fine one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • M. Mazz
  • Hyattsville, MD United States
  • 11-28-05

Tell me another story, please. . .

Unlike American Gods, Anansi Boys is a bedtime story, a fable for adults. Most likely, the audiobook is an improvement over the printed version because this book was meant to be read and sung aloud. Gaiman delivers his message with wit and humor that doesn't blunt its power. Anansi Boys left me searching for another audiobook by Neil Gaiman (and sadly disappointed). Anansi Boys is a beautifully produced book. Gaiman is fortunate that Lenny Henry was available to provide his work its voice; I cannot imagine another reader doing it justice. Still hungering for more, I searched for another audiobook read by Lenny Henry; and again, I was disappointed. It is hard to believe that such a gifted reader has produced only one audiobook for Audible. Anansi Boys also includes some of the most delightful music I've heard on a recorded book and the book is precisely edited with exacting timing. Altogether, it is a work of art that is a delight to hear (or read through the ears).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Roy
  • Blue Jay, CA, USA
  • 10-19-05


As a recent member of the audible family, I've mostly been focusing on non-fiction. The dramatic possibilities inherent in non-fiction can be, shall we say, slight. I took a chance on this one, and what a winning gamble. The story starts a bit slowly, but the performance was amazing. The narrator (Lennie X?) provided terrific voices, accents, and characterizations, which only added to an already fun and engaging story. Normally, I ration these books out on my lunch time bike ride...but I gobbled up Anansi Boys greedily. Well worth your time if you're in the mood for a fun, funny take on Aesop's fables.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ian
  • Newnan, GA, United States
  • 09-25-08

One of the best books on Audible

This is a fantastic story that is very different, riveting, and excellent to hear. I used to read the sandman graphic novels in college but my wife never really understood why I ranted and raved about Gaiman until she listened to this book. Not only is this an excellent tale but this book and Neverwhere also by Gaiman were done with multiple voices and an experienced audio technician. It really adds quite a bit to the book to hear these voices flesh out the characters. You start to really get into this story. I started taking my ipod everywhere and working longer and longer on my fine art to listen to every detail. Gaiman and Audible is a match made in heaven!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Loved it!

I'm not sure why it took me so long to check out this book! I love Neil Gaiman and have read or listened to almost everything he's written. This book was a great, fun, and funny book. I think even if you aren't a huge Gaiman fan you will be entertained by Anansi the trickster and his sons. I'd say this book is up there with Stardust and Coraline, not necessarily his best book, but very lovable. This book is also about 100x better than most of the other books you'll waste time reading this year.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I'm in awe. I couldn't stop smiling through the entire book. Not only was the book a blast the narrator is a real artist. If you don't like this book just kill yourself, your already dead.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fantastic return to American Gods

This story is a fantastic return to the world Gaiman created in American Gods. Anansi is a great subject because he is almost completely unknown to anglos like myself. The Norse, Egyptian, and Greek Myths have been so overdone in fantasy that it's a sick cliche. I welcome the African Pantheon to the world of fantasy. Gaiman's writing is interesting and his use of ethnic language is only made better by the excellent narration.

Anansi Boys is a fun, enjoyable listen that is well worth your time.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Linda
  • Langley, WA, United States
  • 09-22-05

Great story, great reader

This reader is truly inspired. He must a New Zealander, at least that's his narrator accent, but his Carribean, African, English, and American accents are completely convincing. Suitable for everyone.

18 of 26 people found this review helpful