- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Headline Review; 1st Headline Review Edition edition (8 May 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0755305094
- ISBN-13: 978-0755305094
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3.1 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Anansi Boys Paperback – 8 May 2006
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A warm, funny, immensely entertaining story... Anansi Boys combines the anarchy of Douglas Adams with a Wodehousian generosity of spirit (Susanna Clarke)
'A warm, funny, immensely entertaining story about the impossibility of putting up with your relations - especially if they happen to be Gods. Anansi Boys combines the anarchy of Douglas Adams with a Wodehousian generosity of spirit. Guaranteed to make all but the most committed arachnophobe feel gratefully towards spiders' Susanna Clarke (Susanna Clarke)
'The author...gives us powerful deities - Anansi is as charming and dangerous as he ought to be... A thoughtful, atmospheric novel' (The Times)
'As imaginative fiction goes it has become clear that Gaiman has long since left any box. His credentials as a bankable novelist have grown with each title...from his epic of warring divinities, AMERICAN GODS, to ANANSI BOYS, which debuted at number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list.' (Time, Australia)
'Mixing farce and fantasy, epic mythology and domestic drama, Gaiman's novel is a clever piece of storytelling and a celebration of the magic of make-believe.' (Independent on Sunday)
'Whizzing, twirling, erupting into dazzling cartwheels, firing off showers of multi-colored sparks, chortling to itself and muttering killer-diller one-liners, ANANSI BOYS draws the reader, ever more wide-eyed and amazed, into a world both feather-light and chockablock with mortal danger. Only Neil Gaiman could have brought this fraught enchantment into being, and the ongoing, ultimately revelatory travails of Fat Charlie Nancy display Gaiman's remarkable imaginative powers at full stretch. This book is going to sail off the shelves' Peter Straub (Peter Straub)
'Neil Gaiman is one of the few genuinely intelligent writers of what is generally described as 'post-modern' fiction - his work is thoughtful, wise, spiritually challenging and incredibly funny...From Gaiman, it's a treasure, every word. I can't imagine a better way to start a holiday' Manda Scott, Church of England Newspaper, 22 July 2005 (Manda Scott, Church of England Newspaper)
'Brilliant mingling of the mundane and the fantastic' Publishers Weekly, 18/7/05 (Publishers Weekly)
'Gaiman juggles several intersecting narratives expertly...blithely echoing numerous creation myths and folklore motifs, Terry Southern's antic farces, Evelyn Waugh's comic contes cruel, and even - here and there - Muriel Spark's whimsical supernaturalism...enormously entertaining throughout' Kirkus Reviews, 15 July 2005 (Kirkus Reviews)
A book it's impossible not to love (Starburst)
'Gaiman is best-known for his Sandman series of graphic novels, but here he demonstrates an equally vivid ability to portray the mythic and the fantastic in comic prose...slapstick and verbal pyrotechnics are the primary motors of the book. The "apparent effortlessness" of this sort of writing requires planning and execution of a very high order... Neil Gaiman is a very good writer indeed, and this is a very funny bedtime story' (Daily Telegraph)
'Bizarre, bonkers...rather brilliant' (Ian Hislop)
'Exhilarating and terrifying' (Independent)
'This is the most accomplished of Gaiman's novels thus far... Anansi Boys has charm going for it and a plot that pirouettes on a dime. Urbane and sophisticated' (Time Out)
'Part soap opera, part macabre fairy tale, part supernatural horror... Gaiman's writing is as sharp as ever, full of flair and fun...his characters are huge and full-blooded... Often hilarious and just as often unsettling, Anansi Boys is a dark delight' (SFX magazine)
'[Neil Gaiman is the] literary equivalent of a sexy rock star' (Scotland on Sunday)
Bursting with imaginative power, this story blends fantasy with humour and drama.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Gaiman's story is the funniest thing I've read since the last time I bought a Discworld novel a year or so ago; it is also the spookiest. How many times do we all wonder who our parents were before they were parents, and why they have to be so embarrassing once they are? And how many of us have had nightmares about someone else taking over our lives? And above all, how does Gaiman manage to slip in the supernatural (or rather, weird) occurences into normal life with such ease that they seem completely logical, totally normal and so simple that it seems anyone should be able to perform 'miracles'? I guess its just a question of style; and Gaiman has lots of it. He appears to toss this story off without any effort whatsoever, and thus it reads more easily than most fantasy and/or horror stories that seem a lot more forced and constructed. And you simply cannot call it a book: it is a story of the same sort as the original Anansi stories: a fairy-tale.
Fat Charlie's dad has always been weird -- brass bands for the terminally ill, nicknames that stick, and much more. But even away from his dad, Charlie isn't happy. Then he gets the news that his dad died during a karaoke song; when he goes to the funeral, an old neighbor tells him that Daddy was really Anansi the spider god. Even worse, Charlie finds out he has a brother.
Spider is everything Charlie isn't -- charming, debonair, witty, and magical. Soon he has not only taken over Fat Charlie's house, but his fiancee as well, distracting Fat Charlie from his boss's attempts to frame him. Determined to get rid of Spider, Fat Charlie enlists the Bird Woman's help -- but soon finds that his pact will only get them in deeper trouble with the ancient gods.
Trickerster gods -- Anansi, Loki, Kokopelli -- are always fun. And Gaiman makes the idea even more fun with "Anansi Boys." Sibling rivalry forms the backbone of the book, but it's also sprinkled with corporate intrigue, romance, and the old Anansi legends (which Gaiman inserts periodically). And of course -- lots and lots of humour.
With this lighter tone, Gaiman sounds a lot like his pal Terry Pratchett, right down to wry humor and comic timing. "There are three things, and three things only, that can lift the pain of mortality and ease the ravages of life. These things are wine, women and song." "Curry's nice too." Gaiman seems to be having a lot of fun in this book.
And nowhere is the fun more clear than in Spider and Fat Charlie.Read more ›
The book is a hybrid of reality, fantasy and comedy, and manages to combine the three extremely well. It is extremely well-written as per usual from Gaiman, and the characters are very well developed, although it suffers in parts from the odd clichéd character (the girlfriends mother, for example), but this doesn't detract from the overall enjoyment.
There are some dark moments in the book that are quite thought-provoking, but on the whole it is fairly easy reading. The storyline is original and, like American Gods, involves quite a few of God legends.
If you liked Gaiman's previous work, you'll love this. If you like fantasy books (Pratchett, Holt etc), you'll love this. In fact if you like reading, you should love this! This gets the full 5 stars, highly recommended.
Anansi himself is a brilliantly memorable creation - a dapper, fedora-wearing, wisecracking, Cab Calloway lookalike with a perpetual eye for the ladies (even after death) and a soft-shoe shuffle "that was popular for about half an hour in Harlem in the 1920's," and, in consequence, a constant source of toe-curling mortification to his estranged son Fat Charlie. When the story opens, Fat Charlie is living mundanely in South London, with a lukewarm fiancée, a mother-in-law-to-be from Hell, and a job working for a man who resembles the psychotic twin of Reggie Perrin's boss. He's one of life's mysteriously selected fall guys - his father plays humiliating jokes on him as a kid, promotion passes him over; coffee gets spilt on his lap, his embarrassing nickname survives weight loss and a 3000-mile move across the Atlantic, a wrongful arrest causes neighbours to assume that he must be a Yardie. Things, however, are about to get worse ... far, far worse.
Told with the authorial voice of a generous, stand-up raconteur (Gaiman credits Lenny Henry in the acknowledgements) this is entertainment of a high quality. As with "American Gods", there's a certain amount of magic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderous a new mythology in the making . To tell the plot would spoil the tale. Charlie must find who he is as must spider each to find that they are more than menPublished 24 days ago by Kathryn Buckley
Another fabulously mad story from Neil Garmon. I've read a few by him now and I love the imagination and zany stories. Very well written and fun to read.Published 28 days ago by Debs
time to curl up for a good read this author does not usually disappointPublished 1 month ago by Mrs Maria Whale
Not his best book, but still highly enjoyable and quite funny. RecommendedPublished 2 months ago by Jan Patrik Sahlstrøm
Not a bad book. Not his best but an interesting idea. Worth a read if you like his other stuff.Published 3 months ago by Steve Lynch
The plot itself is interesting and unique on the basic idea.
The only thing bugging me is that from about 25% I knew what would happen in the end. Read more