A kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth from bestselling storytelling legend Neil Gaiman, bestselling author of American Gods and Norse Mythology. A BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Anansi Boys, featuring an all-star cast lead by Lenny Henry, premiered on Christmas Day 2017 and can be listened to worldwide on iPlayer.
'Exhilarating and terrifying' Independent
'A warm, funny, immensely entertaining story about the impossibility of putting up with your relations - especially if they happen to be Gods' Susanna Clarke
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?
If readers found the Sandman series creator's last novel, American Gods, hard to classify, they will be equally nonplussed and equally entertained by this brilliant mingling of the mundane and the fantastic. "Fat Charlie" Nancy leads a life of comfortable workaholism in London, with a stressful agenting job he doesn't much like, and a pleasant fianc e, Rosie. When Charlie learns of the death of his estranged father in Florida, he attends the funeral and learns two facts that turn his well-ordered existence upside-down: that his father was a human form of Anansi, the African trickster god, and that he has a brother, Spider, who has inherited some of their father's godlike abilities. Spider comes to visit Charlie and gets him fired from his job, steals his fianc e, and is instrumental in having him arrested for embezzlement and suspected of murder. When Charlie resorts to magic to get rid of Spider, who's selfish and unthinking rather than evil, things begin to go very badly for just about everyone. Other characters including Charlie's malevolent boss, Grahame Coats ("an albino ferret in an expensive suit"), witches, police and some of the folk from American Gods are expertly woven into Gaiman's rich myth, which plays off the African folk tales in which Anansi stars. But it's Gaiman's focus on Charlie and Charlie's attempts to return to normalcy that make the story so winning along with gleeful, hurtling prose.