Anansi Boys

Anansi Boys

by Neil Gaiman

Audio Other(Other - Unabridged Audio Cassette)

$39.99 View All Available Formats & Editions
2 New & Used Starting at $7.99


In this #1 New York Times bestseller, Neil Gaiman returns to the territory of his masterpiece, American Gods (soon to be a Starz Original Series), to once again probe the dark recesses of the soul.

God is dead. Meet the kids.

Fat Charlie Nancy’s normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn’t know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother. Now brother Spider is on his doorstep—about to make Fat Charlie’s life more interesting . . . and a lot more dangerous.

“Thrilling, spooky, and wondrous.”—Denver Post

“Awesomely inventive.… When you take the free-fall plunge into a Neil Gaiman book, anything can happen and anything 

invariably does.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Delightful, funny and affecting.... A tall tale to end all tall tales.”—Washington Post Book World

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781598950434
Publisher: Findaway World, LLC
Publication date: 11/01/2005
Edition description: Unabridged Audio Cassette
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 7.78(h) x 1.62(d)

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, and The Graveyard Book. Among his numerous literary awards are the Newbery and Carnegie medals, and the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. Originally from England, he now lives in America.


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Date of Birth:

November 10, 1960

Place of Birth:

Portchester, England


Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77

Read an Excerpt

Anansi Boys

By Neil Gaiman

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Neil Gaiman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060515198

Chapter One

Which is Mostly About
Names and Family Relationships

It begins, as most things begin, with a song.

In the beginning, after all, were the words, and they came with a tune. That was how the world was made, how the void was divided, how the lands and the stars and the dreams and the little gods and the animals, how all of them came into the world.

They were sung.

The great beasts were sung into existence, after the Singer had done with the planets and the hills and the trees and the oceans and the lesser beasts. The cliffs that bound existence were sung, and the hunting grounds, and the dark.

Songs remain. They last. The right song can turn an emperor into a laughing stock, can bring down dynasties. A song can last long after the events and the people in it are dust and dreams and gone. That's the power of songs.

There are other things you can do with songs. They do not only make worlds or recreate existence. Fat Charlie Nancy's father, for example, was simply using them to have what he hoped and expected would be a marvelous night out.

Before Fat Charlie's father had come into the bar, the barman had been of the opinion that the whole karaoke evening was going to be an utter bust; but then the little old man had sashayed intothe room, walked past the table of several blonde women with the fresh sunburns and smiles of tourists, who were sitting by the little makeshift stage in the corner. He had tipped his hat to them, for he wore a hat, a spotless green fedora, and lemon-yellow gloves, and then he walked over to their table. They giggled.

"Are you enjoyin' yourselves, ladies?" he asked.

They continued to giggle and told him they were having a good time, thank you, and that they were here on vacation. He said to them, it gets better, just you wait.

He was older than they were, much, much older, but he was charm itself, like something from a bygone age when fine manners and courtly gestures were worth something. The barman relaxed. With someone like this in the bar, it was going to be a good evening.

There was karaoke. There was dancing. The old man got up to sing, on the makeshift stage, not once, that evening, but twice. He had a fine voice, and an excellent smile, and feet that twinkled when he danced. The first time he got up to sing, he sang "What's New Pussycat?" The second time he got up to sing, he ruined Fat Charlie's life.

Fat Charlie was only ever fat for a handful of years, from shortly before the age of ten, which was when his mother announced to the world that if there was one thing she was over and done with (and if the gentleman in question had any argument with it he could just stick it you know where) it was her marriage to that elderly goat that she had made the unfortunate mistake of marrying and she would be leaving in the morning for somewhere a long way away and he had better not try to follow, to the age of fourteen, when Fat Charlie grew a bit and exercised a little more. He was not fat. Truth to tell, he was not really even chubby, simply slightly soft-looking around the edges. But the name Fat Charlie clung to him, like chewing gum to the sole of a tennis shoe. He would introduce himself as Charles or, in his early twenties, Chaz, or, in writing, as C. Nancy, but it was no use: the name would creep in, infiltrating the new part of his life just as cockroaches invade the cracks and the world behind the fridge in a new kitchen, and like it or not -- and he didn't -- he would be Fat Charlie again.

It was, he knew, irrationally, because his father had given him the nickname, and when his father gave things names, they stuck.

There was a dog who had lived in the house across the way, in the Florida street on which Fat Charlie had grown up. It was a chestnut-colored boxer, long-legged and pointy-eared with a face that looked like the beast had, as a puppy, run face-first into a wall. Its head was raised, its tail nub erect. It was, unmistakably, an aristocrat amongst canines. It had entered dog shows. It had rosettes for Best of Breed and for Best in Class and even one rosette marked Best in Show. This dog rejoiced in the name of Campbell's Macinrory Arbuthnot the Seventh, and its owners, when they were feeling familiar, called it Kai. This lasted until the day that Fat Charlie's father, sitting out on their dilapidated porch swing, sipping his beer, noticed the dog as it ambled back and forth across the neighbor's yard, on a leash that ran from a palm tree to a fence post.

"Hell of a goofy dog,"said Fat Charlie's father. "Like that friend of Donald Duck's. Hey Goofy."

And what once had been Best in Show suddenly slipped and shifted. For Fat Charlie, it was as if he saw the dog through his father's eyes, and darned if he wasn't a pretty goofy dog, all things considered. Almost rubbery.

It didn't take long for the name to spread up and down the street. Campbell's Macinrory Arbuthnot the Seventh's owners struggled with it, but they might as well have stood their ground and argued with a hurricane. Total strangers would pat the once proud boxer's head, and say, "Hello, Goofy. How's a boy?" The dog's owners stopped entering him in dog shows soon after that. They didn't have the heart. "Goofy-looking dog," said the judges.

Fat Charlie's father's names for things stuck. That was just how it was.

That was far from the worst thing about Fat Charlie's father.

There had been, during the years that Fat Charlie was growing up, a number of candidates for the worst thing about his father: his roving eye and equally as adventurous fingers, at least according to the young ladies of the area, who would complain to Fat Charlie's mother, and then there would be trouble; the little black cigarillos, which he called cheroots, which he smoked, the smell of which clung to everything he touched; his fondness for a peculiar shuffling form of tap dancing only ever fashionable, Fat Charlie suspected, for half an hour in Harlem in the 1920s; his total and invincible ignorance about current world affairs, combined with his apparent conviction that sitcoms were half-hour-long insights into the lives and struggles of real people. These, individually, as far as Fat Charlie was concerned, were none of them the worst thing about Fat Charlie's father, although each of them had contributed to the worst thing.

The worst thing about Fat Charlie's father was simply this: He was embarrassing.

Of course, everyone's parents are embarrassing. It goes with the territory. The nature of parents is to embarrass merely by existing, just as it is the nature of children of a certain age to cringe with embarrassment, shame, and mortification should their parents so much as speak to them on the street.

Fat Charlie's father, of course, had elevated this to an art form, and he rejoiced in it, just as he rejoiced in practical jokes, from the simple -- Fat Charlie would never forget the first time he had climbed into an apple-pie bed -- to the unimaginably complex.


Excerpted from Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman Copyright © 2006 by Neil Gaiman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Anansi Boys 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 425 reviews.
jpquibrera More than 1 year ago
Neil Gaiman delivers a resplandescent book that talks about pretty much everything. What I loved about this book was the fact that when you start reading it you think it's just an urban kind of story (the only thing the back cover says is that Charlie's father dies and he was supposed to be a God), and the more you read the more you discover what the story is about. It is fascinating: it's a wild, deep, touching story about magic, love, life, and everything you want to read about. Who would I recommend this book to? ANYONE! This book really is perfect, and if you haven't read it you're already missing a part of your heart. Trust me: "Anansi Boys" isn't at all what it seems - it's much, much more, and it changed my life. Neil Gaiman is now one of my favorite writers, his writing is so... gobsmackingly good! By the way, this book is so hilariously sarcastic sometimes that, when I was reading it at school, my teachers and classmates often asked me "are you actually laughing because of a book?", since I couldn't stop chortling and sometimes my laughs interrupted the teacher's lecture. It's just amazing. READ IT please. There's no alternative here: if you see "Anansi Boys" by Neil Gaiman, you BUY IT and you START READING as soon as possible. Believe me - it's worth every dollar, every minute of it.
JustSumGuyInNC More than 1 year ago
As other reviewers have said, this is the sequel to American Gods, which I have also read. This is far less dark than that book. The lead character is called "Fat Charlie" even though he is not fat. Frankly, that got to be annoying for me, but that's about the only negative criticism I would lay on the book. The story does weave in and out of the supernatural dream-like world that was in evidence in American Gods, and for me those sections were a bit tedious at times, but it was part of the flavor of the book and again not nearly as ominous as in the earlier book. If you enjoyed American Gods, you will enjoy Anansi Boys, quite possibly even more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading (and loving) 'American Gods' I picked up this one. I found I had a much harder time liking the characters...tho perhaps that was his intent. I stuck it out & ended up liking the book as a whole, but it didn't have the same pull for me that AG did.
misteranderson More than 1 year ago
This is my first read of Neil Gaiman. It was a quick and easy read. Gaiman's use of the English language makes it easy to visualize a scene. The scenes he creates tend to lead to some strange places. I liked the mixing o folklore and modern times. It led me to West African and Caribbean folklore and I will read more of Mr. Gaiman. If clever, descriptive, fantastic fiction is what you are into - this is a good read.
Greystrider More than 1 year ago
This was my first Gaiman book. I enjoyed the casual approach and the crackling language but felt a little like a stone skipping along the surface of a pond: there was, I'm sure, profundity below the surface but it was never the author's intention to delve into it. That's not really a complaint, although I realize it sounds like one. This really was an enjoyable read. It just felt like a missed opportunity, as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great sequel, Gaiman did it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining. Magical, romantic, suspenseful. Sibling rivalry at it's finest. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Well written as all of Mr. Gaimans books are. Kept me reading lon after I should have turned out the lights. The characters are believable. The pplot well crafted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good i suggest to those who enjoy action packed books
pkay More than 1 year ago
As usual, Neil Gaiman has created a wonderous world, very mysterious and somewhat dark. Excellent read and worth reading more than once. I highly recommend this to those who like offbeat fantasy.
DeDeFlowers More than 1 year ago
Anansi Boys is the follow-up to American Gods. Anansi Boys took me a little while to get into. I struggled through the first couple chapters, but after that I really got into it. This book is classic Gaiman. It's dark comedy and fantasy at its finest. You will love the characters and be wrapped up in the story until the very end! It is a great book for both fantasy lovers and non-lovers alike. It makes your imagination run wild.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bohemiangirl35 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fat Charlie is meek and spends his life trying not to get noticed so he won't be embarrassed. When his fiance learns that his father is still living, she insists that they invite Anansi to the wedding even though Fat Charlie does not want to see him. When Fat Charlie tries to find his father Anansi, he finds out that he's just died. At the funeral, Fat Charlie finds out from old neighbors that he had a brother. Fat Charlie calls to his brother by asking a spider.Anansi, one of the most popular characters in West African and Caribbean folklore, is the trickster spider. Anansi is smart and funny and all stories belong to him.In Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman creates his own version of how Anansi got his stories and what happens to his bloodline after he dies. Part folktale, part magic, the story is all fun. This is my first Neil Gaiman book, and I will definitely be reading another.
eclecticdodo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A bit of a slog at the start but picked up as it went along and tied up all the characters nicely at the end. Fat Charlie finds out that the animal gods of legend are real and their stories are intertwined with life. Not a great book but entertaining enough.
BookJumper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Typically, I am one to wait a few years between readings of the same book. Not so with this: as soon as I finished it, I dived back into the beginning and re-read the whole first half, eager to increase my understanding and appreciation of the work. It withstood the test: masterfully constructed, "Anansy Boys" is littered with apparently innocuous images, clues, snippets that, re-read in the light of the ending, make you go "aaaaaaaaaah yes I get it now". For exactly the same reason, some people have called it "predictable"; and maybe it is, plot-line wise, but no matter: it's beautifully written, filled with characters you really feel for (in both good and bad ways), contains quite a few funny moments, not to mention that - for once - it is good to see people get what they deserve.
Arvoitus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
They're brothers and their dad is a god. Charlie lives a dull existence in London with a boss as corrupt as you can imagine and a nice girl friend with a dragonish mother. Spider is a god as his father is, cool with a nice existence without problem.Dad die and come the problems. The two brothers met for the first time and change each other life in a dangerous mess. All of that in a funny way.
Malarchy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anansi Boys is the follow-up to gold standard of modern fantasy - American Gods. Anansi Boys is a fun modern fantasy but it is not genious. The story of Charles "Fat Charlie" Nancy and his relationship with his deceased father and long-lost brother is engaging and creative. As in American Gods, the gods and characters from fable have life in the world around us. One of thoe gods - Anansi - is Charles Nancy's father. Fat Charlie is a character adrift in modern society - hard working, diligent, uninspired. Anansi Boys is his story, and as much as anything it is about the growth Fat Charlie experiences thanks to the influence of those he meets. Fat Charlie's estranged relationship with his father, his unpleasant boss, his aggressive future mother-in-law all help to make Charlie a particularly easy character to empathise with. His is a warm and attractive character who develops in a very pleasing way. Charlie's father Anansi does not feature much in the book but it is a really excellent character description. It is a little odd for those readers who might have grown up with Anansi stories to have them transposed away from their place of origin and given slightly alien features but Anansi as a soft-shoe shuffling charmer enjoying the easy life is great. Charlie's brother Spider is the one who breaks open the narrative. Prior to Spider's arrival, the world is sane, senisble, and mundane. Spider is the sense of adventure and creativity that breathes life into the ongoing activities. He is designed as a contrast to Charlie but it is never that black and white. The conclusion of Spider's character arc is really disappointing in its lack of ambition and what Gaiman aspires to for him but Spider is a thoroughly enjoyable read. The women of Anansi Boys are all a bit weird. The old crones in Florida are a nice take on the cabal and Callyanne Higgler in particular is entertaining, easily helped by her well constructed name which places her so easily in the reader's mind. Miss Dinwiddie is a bit of an archetype but she serves the story well as the source of much of the old wisdom and current tension Fat Charlie discovers. Of the two younger women, Rosie gets most of the coverage but as a paragon she is really not very interesting. Daisy is far more intriguing a character but she does not earn as many words. Daisy's parental backstory is the kind of aside that makes a book like this really good to read. The nationality of her parents is that extra touch of excellence and the combination of ultra capitalist Hong Kong and communist Ethiopia makes for an amusing reference point that presumably Gaiman meant to include. Maeve Livingstone and her affection for her husband Morris is a lovely character. Anansi Boys is not though a work of genious. The dialogue is very clunky at times. In particular, Gaiman appears to have great difficulty describing the dialect of the Caribbean. The various West Indians and Floridians indicate their ethnicity mainly by swapping "are" for "is" as in "I is". While this may be a feature of the particular dialect, there is no roundness or believability to their use of language. This is probably because Gaiman does not offer the kind of insightful description of their speech to make up for the poor dialogue itself. Far too many of the characters have a distinctly British voice - the worst culprit is Tiger. This menacing force is built-up throughout the book as a fearsome physical representation of fear and dread. His foppish use of British English such as "Frankly...we appear to be stuck together" is the kind of understated Britishness that works very well for Hugh Grant characters but not for the personification of violence that is Tiger. Equally, Dragon is a strange character who seems to exist for one joke. Dragon is a raging beast who when foiled describes his circumstance with a menacing "Bother". Dragon should not be middle class English in any way. Dragons appear in many cultures of the world but really hardly in E
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a good, solid, laugh-aloud read. While it wasn't as much of a roller coaster ride as American Gods, it was still a lot of fun. I especially liked the lime.
SimonW11 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a good lighter book set in the same mileu. as American Gods. Fat Charlie Nancy's father who seems to have existed only to embarass his stick-in-the-mud son has died. unknown to him his dad was a god and now the brother he did not know he had has turned up at his door. stealing his girl, upsetting his job and using all those godly powers Charlies just doesn't seem to have inherited.although I read the book I will take a moment to also reccomend Lenny Henry's audio verison.
kaipakartik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well written. Gaiman shifts between genres, from detective fiction to Magic Realism to what not.
LinBee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It takes a little while to get into the book, but once you get into the meat of it, you just have to find out what happens to the main character "Fat Charlie." Charlie's life just changed for boringly normal and quiet to a whirlwind ride. Not only does his father, whom he wasn't all that close to, die, but he finds out that he also has a long lost brother! Enter all of the other main characters off on their own tangents and the story soon spins into a web that mirrors the character that the book is really about. Good reading, if a little slow to start.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anansi Boys is the story of Fat Charlie Nancy, who's not fat, but his father gave him the nickname and it stuck. His father has been the bane of his existence--always embarrassing, always a womanizer. And then he dies, and even his death is embarrassing, but Charlie returns to Florida for the funeral, thinking the torment is over.Then he finds out that his father was Anansi, the spider god, and that he himself has a brother, Spider, who inherited his father's powers; and when Spider moves in with him, Charlie realizes it's only just beginning.In true Gaiman fashion, the story is full of humor, fantastical things made real, and an abundance of twists and turns such that you give up trying to figure out where he's going to take you next and just hang on for the ride. There's even a wonderfully romantic, if slightly skewed, love story. It's the same universe as American Gods, where the gods are real and live among humans, though it's not really a sequel, and the two books can be read separately. And it's a coming-of-age-story of sorts, in that Charlie and Spider both grow up emotionally.I can't think of anything else to say that hasn't been said already, and much more coherently--I'm rendered speechless by extreme fangirlishness. Great book. I knew it would be.
PghDragonMan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stephen King wants to be Neil Gaiman when he grows up.Neil Gaiman shows a knack for taking mythology and folklore and bringing it into this world. With Anansi Boys, Gaiman brings Anansi, the trickster spider of African and Caribbean folklore to life. As with other classical mythology figures, we find that near immortals and mortals mix. It seems that this Anansi took a mortal wife and she had a son, or is it two sons, by him and that is who the story is really about.The story is enjoyable for a number of reasons. If you are a fan of traditional folktales, you probably know of Anansi. Gaiman does a nice job of relating some Anansi stories you may not be familiar with and showing how these stories became transformed into Americanized folk tales. He also fashions a modern adaptation and, continuing the theme from American Gods, Gaiman posits that old gods are still among us if you know how to approach them.True to the Anansi stories that Gaiman draws on to give us this story, Anansi Boys is a parable. In this case, the moral is the dual nature of our selves and how we must strive to keep balance within our selves. Charles Nancy is the first son of Anansi we meet. We later meet his brother, Spider. Still later we are lead to believe that Charles and Spider were once the same person and Spider was drawn off from Charles. Spider the archetypical trickster, always walking on the edge of getting in trouble, getting what he wants by tricking people and in general, living the good life at he expense of others. Charles is the antithesis of Spider, very down to earth without a devious thought in his mind.Enter two other characters, both female and both opposites. Rosie, a proper young lady, betrothed to Charles, and Daisy, a fun loving, but still sensible young woman with a distinct wild side. Just as Charles and Spider are actually counterparts to each other, these two women play a counter balance to the two main men of the story. Through these characters we learn about balancing our natures. While it is not hard to figure out who ends up paired with whom, the story lies in how it happens.While American Gods was decidedly a heavy story, Anansi Boys, like the Anansi tales themselves, is at times side splitting funny, with just enough danger and suspense thrown in to keep you rooted to the tale so you learn the message of the parable. In Neverwhere, except for the obvious comic relief, I don¿t think the story was meant to come off as much of a comedy. I have a hard time imagining Anansi Boys was ever intended to be anything but humorous.An all around great story, well written and, in the case of the audio book, well told. The only problem I have is trying to decide just how high to rate this. I do not feel it is truly a five star story because it did not exactly rock my world. Nonetheless, I still found this more enjoyable than the previous Gaiman stories that I¿d given four and a half stars to. Since we do not have a four and three-quarters star rating, I¿m going four and a half for this one. Just imagine that the rating really says 9½ out of 10 and the others are 9 out of 10.
SPutman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am not a big fan of audio books, but I loved this story in audio version, mainly because of the many voices supplied by the reader, Lenny Henry. It seemed as if he must have had a room full of people in the recording studio with him! He really captured the humor, the drama and all of the twists and turns of this unusual book. From average-guy Fat Charlie and his boring fiancee Rosie to smooth-talking lady's man Spider and Charlie's psychopathic boss Graham Coats, Gaiman's book has a wonderful assortment of characters, and Lenny Henry brings each of them to life with his wide range of accents and varied speech patterns.