American Gods

A Novel

Gaiman, Neil

Book - 2001
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
American Gods
The storm was coming.... Shadow spent three years in prison, keeping his head down, doing his time. All he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and to stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his scheduled release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place. On the plane ride home to the funeral, Shadow meets a grizzled man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A self-styled grifter and rogue, Wednesday offers Shadow a job. And Shadow, a man with nothing to lose, accepts. But working for the enigmatic Wednesday is not without its price, and Shadow soon learns that his role in Wednesday's schemes will be far more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. Entangled in a world of secrets, he embarks on a wild road trip and encounters, among others, the murderous Czernobog, the impish Mr. Nancy, and the beautiful Easter -- all of whom seem to know more about Shadow than he himself does. Shadow will learn that the past does not die, that everyone, including his late wife, had secrets, and that the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined. All around them a storm of epic proportions threatens to break. Soon Shadow and Wednesday will be swept up into a conflict as old as humanity itself. For beneath the placid surface of everyday life a war is being fought -- and the prize is the very soul of America. As unsettling as it is exhilarating, American Gods is a dark and kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an America at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. Magnificently told, this work of literary magic will haunt the reader far beyond the final page.

Publisher: New York : W. Morrow, 2001.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 0380973650
Characteristics: 465 p. ;,25 cm.
Alternate Title: American gods (ebook)


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Mar 07, 2015
  • lasmith55 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of my all time favourite books, akin for me, to Samuel Delaney's Dhalgren in terms of scope and vision.

Feb 11, 2015
  • VRMurphy rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I loved this book the first time I read it, and my experience of it gets deeper each time I go back to it. Strongly recommended.

Nov 11, 2014
  • Chapel_Hill_KenMc rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a sweeping, complex dark fantasy that features some of Gaiman's more memorable characters. It's a surreal intersection of myth and nightmare, not to be missed by those who like a dose of the fantastic with their suspense.

Oct 05, 2014
  • sharon711 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I found this book had difficulty in sustaining my interest. The action is hard to follow and the so called gods are quite unsavory in their natures. The construction of the book, though, I found to be clever, with loose ends tied up by the finish (if you can manage to make it there). Mythology references galore are fine if the reader is familiar with them (and I am not). But I liked some of the references and musing on faith and belief as a common human condition. This strange book might appeal to people with a fondness for fantasy... but that wouldn't be me.

Sep 19, 2014
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The tone and style of the book are very much like classic tales and legends. There are heroes, gods and villains, fantastic events, and horrible consequences, and it is all set in present day America. Gaiman weaves an intriguing story of adventure that crosses the continental states, visiting tiny towns and big. If you enjoy mythology, this is a great book for you.

Aug 13, 2014
  • knbray rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Honestly, this remain my favorite Gaiman novel. It is haunting, smart, surreal, and immensely satisfying. An essential read for all fantasy fans.

Aug 11, 2014
  • bilida rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I do not know why this gets such great reviews. It is disjointed and is not as interesting as the premise should be. I really enjoy the Iron Druid series, that has similar ideas but are much more entertaining books.

Jul 16, 2014
  • firered81 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The most accurate comparison that I can make about this book is that it is Percy Jackson for adults. Old gods such as Odin and Anansi the Spider. New gods that have been created by our worship of the m have however risen to kill the old gods and take their place in the hearts and minds of man. These new gods are the gods of television, fast-food and so forth. The book follows Shadow, a man recently released from jail on his dark journey with Odin to stop the new gods.

Mar 09, 2014
  • forbesrachel rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Old gods linger in America. Without the belief of humans, they are now remnants of their once powerful selves, and in their place is a new generation. Gods of science, technology and modern conveniences reign. However, both sides fear their fickle worshipers, and seek to fight for their very existence.

Shadow, a human, is dragged into this battle, and as he meets these deities, whose very surroundings match their ancient and decrepit selves, we feel sadness and sympathy for a dying race. Many of the world's gods appear, some in only a cameo, while others play a more substantial role. In such limited space, there is little time to expand on the life story of each. So the author intersperses chapters throughout to show in general how these gods came to America, and what their life has been like since.

All the gods are reduced to a more physical nature; they have adapted to the modern world and rely on money and transportation like anyone else. Unlike the modern gods who are briefly thriving under such conditions, the old ones use whatever methods that are necessary to acquire the belief of humans.

The gods may say cryptic things, and are most certainly mysterious, but there is no greater mystery than Shadow himself. His origins, his readiness to just accept the impossible, and the reason Mr. Wednesday wants him, seem inexplicable and unconnected at the beginning. Hints are well hidden, and it takes key events to eventually reveal the surprising truth.

Within this complex blending of myth and reality, one of the greatest deceptions ever conceived is played out. While much that happens is mind-bending and magical, it only takes one thing to enjoy this thrilling ride....a willingness, for one moment, to once again believe in gods.

Jan 24, 2014

I am learning so much about the Gods - there is so much that I didn't already know. I am excited to get my hands on a mythology book for futher reference.

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Aug 11, 2014
  • bilida rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

bilida thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jun 24, 2014
  • Sophie2798 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Sophie2798 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Sep 03, 2013
  • Jeroman rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Jeroman thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Aug 14, 2013
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seaeffess thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 18, 2012

hDlVivace thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Mar 27, 2012
  • Dr_Inferno rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Dr_Inferno thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Mar 01, 2011
  • SailorSaturn rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

SailorSaturn thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Jun 10, 2008
  • jabey rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

jabey thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Mar 12, 2015
  • vv1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: Contains some sexual content

Mar 12, 2015
  • vv1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Violence: Has some scenes depicting violence or the aftermath of violence.

Mar 12, 2015
  • vv1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Coarse Language: There is swearing, but it did not feel excessive.

Jun 18, 2012

Coarse Language: Used in conjunction with the sexual content at times. Other times swearing is prevalent with R-rated language. But language is carefully controlled to an extent and not used unneedlessly.

Jun 10, 2008
  • jabey rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.


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Jun 24, 2014
  • Sophie2798 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The house smelled musty and damp, and a little sweet, as if it were haunted by the ghosts of long-dead cookies.

Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

What should I believe? thought Shadow, and the voice came back to him from somewhere deep beneath the world, in a bass rumble: Believe everything.


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