Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

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One of fiction's most audaciously original talents, Neil Gaiman now gives us a mythology for a modern age -- complete with dark prophecy, family dysfunction, mystical deceptions, and killer birds. Not to mention a lime.

Anansi Boys
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 bestseller, 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."


About Neil Gaiman

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Neil Gaiman is the nationally bestselling author of The Graveyard Book, the only book ever to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie Medals. He lives near Minneapolis, MN. You can visit him online at Reaves is an Emmy Award-winning television writer and novelist who has written, story-edited, or produced nearly four hundred teleplays for various series. He lives in California. You can visit him online at
Published October 13, 2009 by William Morrow. 416 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics, Comics & Graphic Novels, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Anansi Boys

The New York Times

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Neil Gaiman's novel is a mix of farce, fantasy and folk tale in which it turns out that Dad was a god.

Oct 09 2005 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

BC Books

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While Neverwhere played with the theme of a fey underworld hiding just beneath our noses, and Stardust recast the questing nature of fairy tales, and American Gods presupposed (much like Harlan Ellison before him) that mankind hauled their "gods" with them across the Atlantic to the new world, in...

Oct 21 2005 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

BC Books

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Fat Charlie had known his upbringing had always been different because his father wasn’t like anyone else he’d ever met.

Apr 22 2008 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

BC Books

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On the 8th, I would say to myself, because that was the night when I would wait in a line with 649 other people, the night when I would buy this book about gods in the hallway of a church, when I would get the book, meet the man himself, and even, though I didn't know it yet, touch his fancy foun...

Oct 27 2006 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

AV Club

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In his 2000 novel American Gods, beloved cult fantasist Neil Gaiman established a world of survival-seeking former gods, some clinging to their half-forgotten mythoi, some seeking a new place in the new world.

Oct 05 2005 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

The Bookbag

In his preface, Gaiman hails Douglas Adams as one of his great inspirations when he writes and this novel certainly bares comparison with something he would write.

Nov 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys


His son, Fat Charlie (who is not actually fat but can’t shake the nickname) goes over for the funeral and talks to his old neighbour about his father, who casually tells him that he was the god Anansi, and that Fat Charlie also has a brother, and if he’d like to see his brother, just ask a spider...

Jan 12 2009 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys


I sincerely think he’s good, and I have a great time reading his books (I’ve read more Gaiman during the Cannonball Read than any other authors.) But I can’t seem to muster up as much passion for it as when I think about any of Steinbeck’s books - who incidentally, does occasionally try to manipu...

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SF Site

ISFDB Bibliography SF Site Review: Mirrormask: The Illustrated Film Script of the Motion Picture SF Site Review: The Sandman: Endless Nights SF Site Review: Coraline SF Site Review: A Walking Tour of the Shambles SF Site Review: American Gods SF Site Review: Stardust SF Site Review: Smoke ...

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Anyone who’s ever read African folklore has come across the trickster god Anansi, a spider who’s always taking advantage of his fellow gods, humans and anyone else unlucky enough to get in his way.

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While Charlie really isn’t fat, his dad called him Fat Charlie one day and it remained his name for life.

Sep 19 2005 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

Fantasy Literature

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman.

Feb 15 2016 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

Too many fantasy books have powerful can’t be beaten protagonists but with Anansi Boys it is quite the opposite.

Jan 18 2013 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

Strange Horizons

"Stories are webs, interconnected strand to strand, and you follow each story to the centre, because the centre is the end.

Apr 17 2006 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys


The truths that he needs are right there at the core of the story, drawn from the very African and Caribbean stories of the trickster god, Anansi, that inspire the tale, but also drawn from the truths about family and individuality that give this particular Anansi story a life of its own.

Dec 13 2005 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

The Age

Gaiman's last novel, the epic American Gods, told the story of the fate of the "old" gods, who found themselves imported to the new world of America via ship loads of immigrants.

Oct 22 2005 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

Buried Under Books

Fat Charlie Nancy is an unassuming American making a life for himself in England, namely away from his father, who has made him the butt of all jokes since he was a child.

Oct 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

The Trades

On a night when things weren't going well for Fat Charlie (a night that involved rescuing a spider from a bathtub before his fiancee-in-a-towel, Rosie, who was saving-herself-for-marriage and frustrating-Fat-Charlie-to-no-end, could take a bath in Fat Charlie's own bathroom), he does on a lark wh...

Dec 31 2006 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

Where rereading a book that seeks to be more than entertaining, that aims for remarkable depths of structure and style and theme, rewards the reader with the immensity of its riches, the rereading of a book such as Anansi Boys or Rocket Science rewards the reader by doing well what it was designe...

Apr 01 2017 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

If you pop by the site you can see some lists of recommended books (the one I'm most curious about is Jim, Who Ran Away From His Nurse, and Was Eaten By a Lion by Hilaire Belloc which was recommended by Monica Edinger).The last kids books I remember finding quite genuinely spooky were Joseph Dela...

Mar 26 2017 | Read Full Review of Anansi Boys

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