Customer Reviews


101 Reviews
5 star:
 (58)
4 star:
 (30)
3 star:
 (10)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a bed-time story for grown-ups
'Anansi Boys' is really a story about embarrassing parents and other relatives who turn up exactly when you least want and need them to that starts out completely - well, normal - and suddenly drops into a mixture of horror, fantasy, comedy and crime all at once. Fat Charlie Nancy discovers after his father's funeral that Dad wasn't just any emabarrassing parent but...
Published on 11 May 2006 by George Eliot

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Gaiman afterthought
Is it me or is Gaiman's writing getting lazy? I have been a keen follower of his work right back to the Sandman comics and Good Omens, both of which were 5 star. I thought Neverwhere was another classic. He is capable of really classy writing and good stories, but it's as if he can't quite be bothered to keep up the quality writing. American Gods was good but I noticed a...
Published on 1 Oct 2009 by groundhog


‹ Previous | 1 2 311 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A light, entertaining read., 3 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Anansi Boys (Paperback)
This was a light, entertaining book, which did not tax the brain too much. I enjoy Gaiman's books and fans will find this up to scratch. I did find the 'extra content' funny...especially the book club questions at the end, after all, this is a light read not some Dickensian Classic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Actually..., 5 July 2010
By 
S. Carter (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Anansi Boys (Paperback)
...although a few people have said that they didn't like the style of writing in this book, I feel that it is spot on. It's informal and comical, fitting the plot and characters, but it doesn't spoonfeed you all of the details - it's as much about what he doesn't write as what he does - so you have to use your imagination to fill in the gaps. The result is a style that is accessible, but not simplistic. The characters are written nicely, so you can have a laugh at their expense, or find them pretty sinister.

Ticks all the boxes for me. Really fun book, which I looked forward to reading, whenever I wasn't.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 29 Dec 2009
By 
M. G. Lang "Martin" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Anansi Boys (Audio CD)
I often listen to audio books; I have dozens of them. However, this is, in my opinion, one of the best performed of my collection. I agree totally with I. Richardson. Lenny Henry does a magnificent job. He brings all his skill as a voice artist to the work. Such a talented man.
And, of course, the book's pretty good too. I am a big fan of Neil Gaiman. I'm totally over the moon with this recording.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful and insightful fantasy, 4 Aug 2006
By 
Tim Parsons (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Anansi Boys (Hardcover)
Neil Gaiman has yet to disappoint me.

This is gentle fantasy, varying from dark to bright sometimes within a page, and even people who wouldn't normally choose to read anything within the fantasy genre will find this easy to read and relate to. It's often funny, but isn't comedy. It has its monsters, but it's not horror. It has observation in bucketloads; everyone -- even Spider -- is someone you know, and sometimes even someone you are, but it's when recognition of the familiar is mixed into the stranger-than-you-know world that is Gaiman's stock in trade that this is at its most entertaining.

Buy it. You'll love it. And you'll say hello to at least one spider by the end, just in case.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old gods in the modern age, 14 Mar 2006
This review is from: Anansi Boys (Audio CD)
The old African gods are still going strong in the 20th century. They've expanded their range with the ancestors of the people who first believed in them: the islands of the Caribbean, America, Britain, this world and the next. Anansi, the spider god, won all the stories from Tiger (the god that represents all cats) long long ago. And Tiger is still angry about it. When Anansi dies, his son, Charlie is in for a world of trouble. Nobody told him his dad was a god - not until after the old fellow died. Then they told him that he has a brother too. It's all news to Charlie. And that's just the beginning.
My thanks to the previous reviewer. His enthusiastic review persuaded me to buy this audiobook. As he's indicated, Lenny Henry is an excellent reader. The way he can change his voice from an old lady with a Caribbean accent, to a girl with an English accent to a man with an American accent, without pause or hesitation, is very impressive and completely convincing. The story is fantastic (in both senses of the word), sometimes funny, occasionally frightening and a real treat for the imagination.
Great fun. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Gaiman afterthought, 1 Oct 2009
This review is from: Anansi Boys (Paperback)
Is it me or is Gaiman's writing getting lazy? I have been a keen follower of his work right back to the Sandman comics and Good Omens, both of which were 5 star. I thought Neverwhere was another classic. He is capable of really classy writing and good stories, but it's as if he can't quite be bothered to keep up the quality writing. American Gods was good but I noticed a bit of the Dan Brown in his writing with that one. Anansi Boys - it's even worse. For the first time in his works I've seen sentences that even I would be embarrassed to publish. While it is still readable and the surreal storyline distinctly his, like American Gods, I felt that he didn't know where he was going with the plot and could only be bothered writing good prose about half the time.
Please Neil, take twice and long for the next novel and get it right.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man, those gods hold a grudge, 16 Nov 2005
By 
David Roy (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Anansi Boys (Hardcover)
I was so excited to see Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys on the list of available books, because I've always been a big fan. Gaiman's prose always makes me want to write. I don't mean this in the "I could have done better than that" way, but instead Gaiman inspires me to great heights whenever I read anything by him. Anansi Boys is even better than American Gods, with the story being more personal and, if anything, more intimate. I've been a big fan of Gaiman's since the Sandman comic series, and nothing here will change any of that. Anansi Boys is fantastic.
Fat Charlie (not his real name, but it's a name his father gave him, and names his father gives always seem to stick) was taken to England by his mother when he was younger, mainly to get away from his father. Fat Charlie has had a good life, and is now engaged to a wonderful woman, but things start to spiral downward when his fiancée, Rosie, insists on inviting his father to their wedding. Fat Charlie finds out that his father has just died, and goes to Florida for the funeral. Thus begins a sequence of events that will introduce Fat Charlie to his charming brother, Spider, a man with the powers of a god. The powers of his father, truth be told. Spider is impulsive and always looking out for his own pleasure, which just makes things worse. But things just get out of control when the other gods get involved. Their father, who is known as Anansi, wasn't exactly well-liked by the other gods, and their revenge may just affect the boys too. Fat Charlie is in way over his head and, for once, so is Spider. Even the old ladies who seem to know what is going on may not be able to help them before it's too late.
Turning any of the pages in Anansi Boys was a pure treat for me, as Gaiman's prose just leaps off the page. Gaiman seems fascinated with stories, as most of his other works indicate as well, and here is no different. Anansi stole the stories of the world from Tiger way back when the world was new, and Tiger has forever resented it. Gaiman's love for stories shines through, the words sounding almost lyrical.
"Stories are like spiders, with all the long legs, and stories are like spiderwebs, which man gets himself all tangled up in but which look so pretty when you see them under a leaf in the morning dew, and in the elegant way that they connect to one another: each to each." Pg 39
The narration of the story is interesting. The book is told in third person, but occasionally the narrator will turn and talk to the reader. Just an aside or two, and then back to the story. It's a wonderful technique, which just adds to the mythological aspects of the book. There isn't a clunky word in this book anywhere.
Gaiman also gives us a variety of interesting characters, whose stories intertwine gracefully, though a couple of the coincidences grate just a little. This isn't as annoying as it could have been, perhaps because of the mythological nature of the book which seems to require these sorts of things. Fat Charlie ends up meeting Daisy, a financial cop who just happens to be called in on a case involving him? Whatever the case, these were only minor annoyances, and were lessened by the type of story Gaiman is telling.
Fat Charlie and Spider make an interesting pair, and while their secret did surprise me, it fits wonderfully in hindsight, given the personality that we see in Fat Charlie. He's not a go-getter, reluctant to put himself out in the middle where he might get hurt. He's a great singer, but he gets complete stage-fright when he's supposed to do it in front of people. He seems to have settled for Rosie and he doesn't have a lot of drive. Spider, meanwhile, is almost the exact opposite, living everything in the moment and moving on when he feels like it.
Another good character is Grahame Coats, Fat Charlie's evil boss, who moves from scam to scam whenever things start to get a little hot for him. He always has a contingency plan, but this time, things seem to be going very wrong, and he starts acting crazier and crazier. One thing I didn't like about Coats is how unclear it was how much of Coats personality comes from another source, or whether it's just at the end where this happens. Ambiguity can be good, and I'm sure that's what Gaiman was aiming for, but I think it was a little too ambiguous where Coats was concerned.
The main female characters, Daisy and Rosie, aren't as strong as I might have liked, but they do have wonderful moments within the narrative. Where the relationships between these four characters end up is a bit obvious, but I enjoyed watching how they got there. Daisy is an impulsive cop who is willing to walk away from her job to get the bad guy and Rosie, while she seems fairly weak at the beginning of the book, shows an inner fire later that belies that image of her. The old women are background characters (both Rosie's mom and the old women who help Fat Charlie), but are all entertaining in their own way.
The plot of the book is very straightforward, despite its supernatural origin. There aren't any inexplicable flights of fancy in Anansi Boys; instead, every trip to another reality is grounded solidly in the story. I enjoyed the mythology that Gaiman uses, and I loved how the revenge motif traveled throughout the old gods for what Anansi did to them for all those years. And I found the relationship between the two brothers fascinating.
All in all, Anansi Boys is yet another winner from Gaiman.
David Roy
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Talking to Spiders, 26 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Anansi Boys (Paperback)
I don’t like spiders! I don’t suffer from Arachnophobia, but every time I see a spider in my house I need to kill it, they are not welcome! When they are big and hairy is my husband that does the job of getting rid of them.

When I was reading this book instead of killing this unwelcome intruders I started talking to them, that’s what Anansi Boys does for you, expecting the unexpected. Doing the unthinkable! Even my husband asked me if I was alright and I told him it was a way to contact God. He told me if I continue doing it I might end in a mental asylum, and then I explained him I was reading a Neil Gaiman book, and that made things less weird and he replied: “ Ah! Good Old Neil, I see now where you coming from!”
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It grew on me, 12 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Anansi Boys (Kindle Edition)
It took me a while to get in to this book, the first that I have read by the author. I became quite fond of Fat Charlie, and then annoyed by the stories which bugged me because I just wanted more plot. The beginning of time stuff didn't hold my attention. However the book lifted when Charlie begins to take control of his life and I really do like a happy ending - I couldn't put the book down in the end. The style was sometimes annoying and sometimes warm and funny. It seems appropriate that it was written very much as a storyteller might speak.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than a Just So Story, 28 Jun 2010
By 
simon211175 (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Anansi Boys (Hardcover)
This is the first Gaiman book I've read, and now I've finished it I don't think it will be the last. Reading reviews here saying it isn't Gaiman's best helps make the decision to read more of his work.

I found this book to be a bit slow to start - I liked it, but wasn't sure where it was heading. It did pick up though quite quickly and then kept going nicely until the end. I though it was very funny in places, and the ideas were well thought through. The characters are well fleshed out, and the sections dealing with the "Gods" part of the plot reminded me a bit of the Just So Stories (Wordsworth's Children's Classics), and were really well written.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 311 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Anansi Boys 1ST Edition
Anansi Boys 1ST Edition by Neil Gaiman (Hardcover - 2005)
Out of stock
Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews