Sunday, 22 January 2017

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
First published in America by Morrow in September 2005. Audiobook narrated by Lenny Henry also published in 2005.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the audiobook from Audible via
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

How I got this book:
Bought the audiobook from Audible and borrowed the ebook from my OH

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fat Charlie Nancy is not actually fat. He was fat once but he is definitely not fat now. No, right now Fat Charlie Nancy is angry, confused and more than a little scared - right now his life is spinning out of control, and it is all his dad's fault.
If his rotter of an estranged father hadn't dropped dead at a karaoke night, Charlie would still be blissfully unaware that his dad was Anansi the spider god. He would have no idea that he has a brother called Spider, who is also a god. And there would be no chance that said brother would be trying to take over his life, flat and fiancée, or, to make matters worse, be doing a much better job of it than him. Desperate to reclaim his life, Charlie enlists the help of four more-than-slightly eccentric old ladies and their unique brand of voodoo - and between them they unleash a bitter and twisted force to get rid of Spider. But as darkness descends and badness begins is Fat Charlie Nancy going to get his life back in one piece or is he about to enter a whole netherworld of pain?

Anansi Boys was chosen as the second of three group reads for January by the Proud Readers Of Great Stories group on Goodreads to which I belong. I had already loved hearing the audiobook edition, superbly narrated by Lenny Henry, a few years ago so decided to borrow my OH's ebook edition this time around. I couldn't actually remember much of the story at all which I was glad about because I couldn't spoil any surprises for myself!

Gaiman's tale, at heart, is a coming of age story of sibling rivalry where our inept hero must overcome not only his brother's suave sophistication, but also his own crises of confidence. I could empathise with Fat Charlie on so many occasions! However, this being Gaiman, he also encounters no end of fantastical and supernatural beings which are vividly described so I could easily imagine them all. These beings are inspired by ancient folk tales, 'told before people were even sung into existence'. I recognised several as Brer Rabbit tales and others from Caribbean and African literature I have read and thought this gave Gaiman's imagined world extra power. He has obviously thoroughly researched the mythology and I love how ancient stories and beliefs are woven into Fat Charlie's search. I devoured the whole book in only a couple of sittings because I was so keen to remain within its magic and to know what happens next. A fabulous story!

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Neil Gaiman / Fantasy fiction / Books from England


  1. I've only read one book by Neil Gaiman, and it was his short story collection. I can't wait to read a novel by him, and this sounds like it would be a very good place to start!

    1. Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors! Anansi Boys is brilliant and I also love Neverwhere, Stardust and The Graveyard Book. So many great reads to choose from!