Bursting with imaginative power, this story blends fantasy with humour and drama
Neil Gaiman was born in England but now lives in Minnesota, in a big house of uncertain location where he accumulates computers and cats.
Fat Charlie Nancy's normal life is turned upside down when his father dies and a brother he never knew he had shows up at his doorstep. When that brother, Spider, starts to wear out his welcome, Fat Charlie learns that his father was not a man but the trickster god, Anansi, and both he and Spider have inherited some of Dad's godliness. This leads Fat Charlie to explore his own godly heritage in order to be rid of Spider. Listeners of Coraline can attest that Gaiman is a fine reader, so any narrators who read his novels have a lot to live up to. Lenny Henry, however, is absolutely the perfect choice to read Anansi Boys-he not only has Gaiman's cadences and style down pat, but he also ranges his accent from British to Caribbean with ease and provides distinct and memorable voices for all of the characters. An absolutely top-notch performance, one that makes a terrific book even better. Simultaneous release with the Morrow hardcover (Reviews, July 18). (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
'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 20050601 'The author...gives us powerful deities - Anansi is as charming and dangerous as he ought to be! A thoughtful, atmospheric novel' -- The Times 20050917 '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 20050601 '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 20050722 'Brilliant mingling of the mundane and the fantastic' Publishers Weekly, 18/7/05 -- Publishers Weekly 20050718 '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 20050715 'A book it's impossible not to love' -- Starburst 20050916 '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 20051001 'Bizarre, bonkers!rather brilliant' -- Ian Hislop 20051001 'Exhilarating and terrifying' -- Independent 20051001 '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 20051001 '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 20051029 '[Neil Gaiman is the] literary equivalent of a sexy rock star' -- Scotland on Sunday 20051113 'A warm, funny, immensely entertaining story... Anansi Boys" combines the anarchy of Douglas Adams with a Wodehousian generosity of spirit' -- Susanna Clarke '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 20060530 '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 20060604
Fat Charlie's life is about to be spiced up-his estranged father dies in a karaoke bar, and the handsome brother he never knew he had shows up on his doorstep with a gleam in his eye. Next thing he knows, Fat Charlie is being investigated by the police, his fianc?e's falling in love with the wrong brother, and he finds out that his father was the god Anansi, Trickster and Spider, and that the beast gods of folklore are plotting their own revenge upon his family bloodline. A fun book with a little of everything-horror, mystery, magic, comedy, song, romance, ghosts, scary birds, ancient grudges, and trademark British wit-it shares ideas and characters with American Gods but conveys a more personal look at the dysfunctions unique to a family of dieties (now this would be one reality show definitely to watch!). Another lovely story as only Gaiman can tell it; necessary and recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/05.]-Ann Kim, Library Journal Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Learning Activity: Select a folktale and write a short story based on it, creating new characters. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.