American Gods

American Gods

Book - 2011
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Upon his release from prison, Shadow learns that his beloved wife has been killed in an accident. Now a widower, Shadow accepts a job as a bodyguard for Mr. Wednesday, a trickster and a rogue. Shadow soon learns that his role in the man's schemes are far more dangerous and dark than he could have ever imagined, as he embarks on a dark and strange road trip and joins the battle between the gods of yore and the neoteric gods of present-day America.
Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2011
Edition: 10th anniversary ed
ISBN: 9780062080233
Characteristics: xiv, 541 p. ; 24 cm


From the critics

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Oct 08, 2017

American Gods fell far below my expectations given the hype surrounding it. Gaiman struggles to figure out how to introduce a female character in a way that doesn't remark on her beauty and curvaceous form (or lack thereof) save for a scant few characters. The book feels way too bulky for what it is as well. It meanders to the point where, by the time I hit the halfway mark, I was just bored silly. The premise is interesting and has potential but I was mostly just unimpressed. If you can overlook the sexism and long-winded plot I'm sure it's enjoyable, but I just couldn't get myself to pick it back up.

Aug 29, 2017

A Masterpiece, this is Neil Gaiman at his best.
The deluxe audio book is also utterly fantastic.

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Aug 22, 2017

I finished this book, and felt like I had missed something. So many people recommended this book to me, and I just didn’t get it. I felt like Gaiman just wanted to cleverly introduce various gods and goddesses without the storyline necessarily going anywhere. And at the end of the book, I felt like I still didn’t know Shadow at all. Maybe I should have read the original instead of the tenth anniversary edition and saved myself 12,000 words.

Aug 11, 2017

The show is based on Gaiman's 2001 book, which follows Shadow, a man who returns to his hometown to find that the love of his life and best friend are dead. He is then left to put together the pieces. The first episode is set to premiere at the SXSW’s annual film festival on Starz network.

Jun 28, 2017

I read critics comments on the book and put myself on the waiting list. I enjoyed it. Not my absolute favourite of speculative fiction. But Shadow is an interesting anti-hero and the gods in their various disguises - or incarnations - are weird and funny. So I picked up "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" which is foreshadowed in American Gods - or vice versa - and am enjoying that as well.

CMLReads_Kristin Jun 01, 2017

I picked this up because I love Neil Gaiman and the premise intrigued me. I have mixed feelings about this because I love the concept and struggled a bit with the execution. I'm really curious to see how this translates to TV...and looking forward to reading the sequel. I really enjoyed listening to this one!

May 22, 2017

I had a really tough time with this one. I went in kind of blind. I knew very little of the plot beyond the synopsis and just jumped on the book because I wanted to read it before the show started. I’ve had this on my to-read list for ages and moved it up, way up, when I heard Ian McShane was in the show! Love that guy.
Anyways, I has the version with the author’s commentary in the beginning. He mentioned that it would be a meandering journey. And boy did he mean that. I struggled through this. It was slow and dull in so many parts that I nearly put it down about a dozen times. I get building atmospheric settings, etc. but I don’t need a soliloquy describing every weather pattern that occurs throughout America. It ended up being a slog from start to finish for me. And while I normally love anything to do with mythology this just didn’t do it for me.
For me, a lot of my issues with this book came down to a lack of coherence. There were entire passages, entire chapters, that didn’t make a lick of sense to me. I get the overall gist of the plot and the character arcs but there were points throughout this text where I was well and truly lost. I feel that those areas could have been made clearer for the reader, just from a writing standpoint. I also feel that some of the characters were barely sketched out. Many of the gods were only explored on a surface level which does not allow me to form a clear picture or grow attached. Then these characters vanished, not to be mentioned for quite some time until they were needed again for whatever reason and brought back, usually in a flow breaking manner. The pacing was disrupted continually like this. I liked the coming to America breaks. Those were clearly stated and allowed for a depth to the plot but the random asides that just popped up were disorienting.

LPL_FisherA Apr 15, 2017

I feel so conflicted about this award winning novel by the legendary Neil Gaiman. Just so nobody comes to my house brandishing torches and pitchforks, I want to state for the record that I do enjoy Gaiman's comics, but this book left me with mixed emotions. Characters, especially some of the more interesting gods like Easter and Media, are barely present, Shadow (the protagonist) is a tough character to root for, and the book has some slower parts that are difficult to get through resulting in me wanting to skip some passages. Although I love his worldbuilding, dialogue, and writing style, American Gods left me unsatisfied in its execution and didn't deliver 100% on such an intriguing premise. I'm excited to see Bryan Fuller's take on American Gods when the show premieres later this month on Starz, as I feel he will fix some of my major criticisms of the book when adaptating it. Overall, there are many sections of American Gods that I love, but as a whole, the book played out like a series of loosely connected short stories that left me wanting more. I think that had I been in the mood for a slower paced book, this would have been a 5 star read.

AL_JOSHM Mar 20, 2017

A Sunday afternoon drive of a read. While it is a nice slow burn throughout, you never feel as if it's not worth your time or not engaging. Extremely enjoyable!

MomoT Jan 03, 2017

A great, page-turning read this is as much about America (the geography, the personality and history of the place) as it is about myths and gods and magic. Gaiman takes us on a journey and it's an enjoyable ride.

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Jul 06, 2017

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Mar 27, 2012

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Add Notices

vv1 Mar 12, 2015

Sexual Content: Contains some sexual content

vv1 Mar 12, 2015

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

vv1 Mar 12, 2015

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

hDlVivace 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

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.


Add a Quote

Apr 18, 2017

“Hey," said Shadow. "Huginn or Muninn, or whoever you are."
The bird turned, head tipped, suspiciously, on one side, and it stared at him with bright eyes.
"Say 'Nevermore,'" said Shadow.
"Fuck you," said the raven.”

Jun 24, 2014

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

Oct 08, 2011

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.


Add a Summary

Jul 01, 2015

Possibly one of the greatest pieces of modern Literature by a writer who is surely one of he greatest literary treasures of our time. Gaiman weaves a complex and epic tale of Old World deities surviving adapting and warring in the New World, bereft of the believers that brought them there.

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