Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Group Members:
Amelia Gallay
Sam Kapner
Nate Steinbock
Paul Lamson-Laplume

Discussion Location: Library


Charles "Fat Charlie" Nancy: The main character, unknowing son of the god Anansi.
Spider: Charlie's brother, created by all of the bad parts of Fat Charlie being removed by his neighbor.
Mrs. Dunwiddy: The neighbor who banished Spider out of Charlie. An old woman.
Mrs. Higgler, Mrs. Noles, Mrs. Bustamont: Other old woman neighbors of Charlie's childhood.
Grahame Coats: Charlie's boss at a financial management firm.
Rosie Noah: Fat Charlie's fiance
Anansi: West African spider god, father to Spider and Fat Charlie.
Mrs. Noah: Rosie's mother, disapproves of Fat Charlie and her daughter's plans to marry him.


Do you think Fat Charlie's choice to move to South London represents his subconscious desire to get away from the memory of his father and childhood?
Is the West African spiritual world mentioned in the book supposed to be in Fat Charlie's head, or it's own geographical entity separate from the human world?


Do you think Gaiman's choice of narration (3rd person) fits the story of Anansi Boys?


Spider embodies all that Fat Charlie wishes he could be and Fat Charlie has a life Spider envies so much he steals it from Fat Charlie. Which brother envies the other more?
How do you think the addition of the murderous employer of Fat Charlie (Grahame Coats) adds meaning to the story of Anansi Boys?
The conflict turns into a conflict between Man vs. Self, how is this seen in other parts of the book?


Themes in Anansi Boys were hard (at least for me) to spot, but an obvious one was what happens to people after they die. Do you think the way the author sees the afterlife trivializes life on earth?

Style of Writing:
Gaiman's style of writing is pretty straight and to the point, relying somewhat on dialogue to carry the plot. Do you think the story is fine the way it is, or could it benefit from more emotional insight?
How does the humorous, exciting mood of the novel add to the feel of darkness that lays underneath?

Significant Passages:

There was reality and there was reality; and some things were more real than others.-Ch. 9
"You're no help," he told the lime. This was unfair. It was only a lime; there was nothing special about it at all. It was doing the best it could. -Ch. 12

Outside Resources:
^review of anansi boysexternal image anansi_boys_book.jpg!
^series of pictures of different book covers, pictures of Neil Gaiman, etc.