American Gods by Neil GaimanAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods

byNeil Gaiman

Mass Market Paperback | April 30, 2002

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Shadow is a man with a past. But now he wants nothing more than to live a quiet life with his wife and stay out of trouble. Until he learns that she's been killed in a terrible accident.

Flying home for the funeral, as a violent storm rocks the plane, a strange man in the seat next to him introduces himself. The man calls himself Mr. Wednesday, and he knows more about Shadow than is possible.

He warns Shadow that a far bigger storm is coming. And from that moment on, nothing will ever he the same...

Neil Gaiman is the #1New York Timesbestselling author of more than twenty books, and is the recipient of numerous literary honors. Originally from England, he now lives in America.
Title:American GodsFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:624 pages, 6.75 × 4.19 × 1.56 inPublished:April 30, 2002Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0380789035

ISBN - 13:9780380789030

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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dragged on forever... The 'foreward' pats itself on the back about what a great book this is and how it's a cult classic, but I thought it just dragged on and was written so clunkily. Most of the characters were downright boring and I spent hundreds of pages just waiting for something to happen, and nothing ever does.
Date published: 2017-10-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just ok for me The extra words for the 10th anniversary version just went on and on for me. I might try to read the original version instead.
Date published: 2017-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gaiman at his finest Beautifully written, great story
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wild ride This was my first time reading Gaiman, which means it took some time to get used to the way he presented his work but after stumbling through that, this was quite enjoyable.
Date published: 2017-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from YES!! This book was incredible. Dark, strange, and it will draw you in!
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Strange, Yet Deeply Compelling (4.5) Gaiman is a great author who brings the fairy tale to the adult genre. Full of twisted beings, Gods both old and new, American Gods follows Shadow, a recently released convict who finds himself in the employment of Mr. Wednesday, who may not be who he seems. Together, they embark on a road trip across the USA to unite the Gods of old to join up forces against the New Gods (such as Media, etc) in one final battle. It's insanely creative and plenty of colourful characters, vile moments and calm moments. I found Shadow a bit dull at times but that's my only real complaint.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! Loved the story and the writing.
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from pretty okay after reading more than two of Neil Gaiman's book, you realize he has a type when it comes to story-telling. this is a very solid read, but very predictable.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING! Bought this book for my BF and decided to read it. Completely mind blown! Could not put the book down!!!!
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book I picked up this book on a whim because the title caught my eye. It is well written and provides an interesting story and perspective on the gods. I thoroughly enjoyed the main character, Shadow, and all of the gods, both the well known and the not so well known ones. You don't need to know much about the gods in order to read this. Only complaint is that I found part of the middle to be a bit dry.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Instant fan. This was the first book by Gaiman I read, and I instantly became a fan.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Instant fan. This was the first book by Gaiman I read, and I instantly became a fan.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stellar AMERICAN GODS is one of those books that I should have read sooner. It's exactly what I want in an epic, beautifully told story, and proves yet again when Neil Gaiman is a legend among fiction authors. The story is gorgeous, flows incredibly, cleverly weaves classic mythology with the "new" gods, tells the adventures and trials of realistic and developed characters, adds in epically tragic side stories, and has so many layers that I'll never be able to list them all. It was exciting, heartbreaking, thought-provoking, surprising, smart, and an absolute joy to read. My imagination went rampant. Every god had his or her own distinct personality, but the ending was what stuck with me the most. It was perfect, and I couldn't have asked for better twists. Shadow is an awesome lead character, and I love how he grew after taking so many things in stride. He made incredible sacrifices and was such a good man that I can't help but love him! Mr. Wednesday is a lot of fun to read, and Laura was also a great heroine who added just enough romance to carry the story, and who had a beautiful ending. I absolutely loved this book and how emotional it was at some points. It is one of a kind and will definitely leave you thinking. Amazing!
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Too Bizarre This book came recommended and has good reviews. I thought I would like it. I didn't although I did not read the whole thing. I quit at 28% (or roughly 175 pages). It was just too weird. I like fiction fantasy but this modern urban world the author built is simply bizarre. Talking to animals, magic carousel rides, crazy dreams with talking TVs, dead people coming back to life, a story that seems to be going nowhere other than to set up some incredibly strange battle of old and new gods where old gods have to rob banks to sustain themselves. It's just not for me. It's too long a book for me to sink more time into something I'm only partially interested in. I'd rather read something else. For those that like the world the author built I can see how you could like this book but this book is not for everyone. That includes me.
Date published: 2014-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Possibly the greatest fantasy book ever written! This book is truly incredible, a story about the forgotten old gods living in the cracks of society, often con-men, forgotten. Then of the new gods, the god's of internet and TV and plastic and credit card's and freeways. It talks about shadows and culture, about memory and death and belief, it talks about everything that makes us what we are. It start's with a man, shadow, who just got out of prison, when he finds that his wife was killed in a car accident, he meets the strange Mr. Wednesday. They travel all over America, they meet Russian and Norse and Egyptian gods, they see the uglier truth behind the smiling face of America. The entire tone of this story is so profoundly American, it shows the good and the bad sides of a country that so many people call home. There is little else to say, it is, quite truly, a masterpiece. Thank you Mr. Gaiman.
Date published: 2013-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning Book I want to start off by saying that I loved this book. It captured my interest right away and kept it all the way through. I've been telling everyone about it and can't wait to get my hands on another book by Gaiman. The storyline is unique and off the wall and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Then there is the writing. Gaiman is a master of language. There are even passages I marked because I loved them so much and want to reread them again later. All that being said, I did not race through this book, but savored it. It took me a while to read because I didn't want to rush it.. It is not only the writing that's intriguing, but the subject matter. Gaiman explores interesting issues and philosophies, the way our culture has changed since people started coming to North America, and even what has happened since. This all revolves around the gods - the ancient ones from the old country and the new one's of technology and money. Shadow is in jail for a bank robbery and, after three years, is going to be released. He has everything to live for, until he finds out that his wife and best friend (also his future employer) have been killed in a car accident. Shadow leaves jail and goes home, unsure of what he will do. Along the way he meets Mr. Wednesday, who offers him a job. It turns out that Wednesday is an old world god, trying to rally up other gods to fight the new world gods for survival. I don't want to say too much about this book because I don't want to give it away. There are so many twists and turns, rich explorations of ideas, and stunning writing, that it will keep you turning the pages. One of my favorite quotes (because I love books so much): “What I say is, a town isn't a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it's got a bookstore it knows it's not fooling a soul.”
Date published: 2013-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read to me, Sandman My first introduction to Gaiman was his award-winning Sandman graphic novel series, and I fell in love both with his characters and the author. This book did not disappoint, even in comparison to the series (although, since I'm a picture-book sort of girl, I would recommend his Sandman series first at any time). With Gaiman`s signature style of prose, I felt like I was being a read a story from the Sandman himself. The fantastical story line knits together an eclectic mix of gods from different eras and cultures, and with his dark imaginings even conjures up a new gang of gods in town. It speaks of honour, tradition, inevitable changes, and sacrifices must always be made for anything you do. This is an epic saga squished between two humble covers. While the trend these days is to produce a light series, this book is dense and savoury, and I enjoyed every morsel.
Date published: 2011-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Amazing Wow, did I ever love this book! I started it, not knowing what to expect, only to find that I couldn't put it down. Gods may be forgotten, but they don't just cease to exist. What happens when gods are forgotten is that rituals are lost, symbols become unreadable, and those forgotten gods are forced to live lives of mediocrity among humans, doing what they have to do to keep some memory of themselves alive. Then there is the coming of the storm. Where new gods are determined to kill off the old gods. And then we have Shadow, who suddenly finds himself having to believe in concepts and gods and goddesses he's only ever dreamed of. Really, there is so much going on in this book that only the surface of the words can be mentioned in this review. Gaiman has written an amazing book, one that I'll be remembering for a long time to come and that I'll be recommending whenever I have the opportunity.
Date published: 2011-09-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Worth reading if you're a Gaiman fan The first Neil Gaiman book I read was Neverwhere and I loved it so much I immediately became a huge fan of his. So of course I wanted to read American Gods as well. I will say I have a slight bias because nothing compares to Neverwhere for me personally but I still enjoyed this book. I felt that I had a bit of a decline in interest when I read the first few chapters; I found it a little difficult to get in to. Once the story line picked up however, it became something I didn't want to put down. As usual, Gaiman shows his brilliance when it comes to imagery and suspense in this book. The story is very well told but in my opinion the main character, Shadow's story did not interest me enough to make it one of those books you can't put down.
Date published: 2011-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Modern Fantasy Neil Gaiman doesn't disappoint with this title. Don't let yourself be thrown by the somewhat bizarre name of the main character, if you like fantasy set in a modern day environment you will likely love this book. American Gods follows the style Gaiman achieved with his Sandman graphic novel series. An interesting mix of source materials, myths and legends coming together to craft a thoroughly entertaining story. He shows both reverence to the myths and characters he appropriates, but also a willingness to expand and re-imagine them. A unique and entertaining mix of elements and story comes together to create a vivid and entertaining story.
Date published: 2011-06-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Definitely worth the purchase I almost always appreciate Gaiman's works, and American Gods did not disapoint. Gaiman's unique mythology is perhaps almost wholly unoriginal, as it draws upon real world mythos, but no real world mythos is like Gaiman's. The blending of cultures and attitudes is truly masterful. It was interesting. While reading this, I was impatient for it to be done. This was of course not because I was impatient with it, but because I wanted to know all that the book had to offer. I'll definitely be rereading this book, so I may fully plumb its depths. And rereads are not common for me, as I like to cover as many books as I can.
Date published: 2009-02-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Is it Wednesday Again Already? Shadow has been serving time for a while, and is thrilled to see his wife again as his release date approaches at last. Of course, things can’t go that easily especially when that’s the first sentence for the premise of the novel. Finally free and with nowhere left to go, Shadow finds himself chatting with a stranger on the plane home who offers him a job. He takes the work as the chauffeur and bodyguard of an old con artist with a glass eye who calls himself Wednesday. The job takes him to all ends of America, and right in the centre, and then back again. It turns out there has been another complicated world sitting under Shadow’s nose all along. I must repeat that American Gods is ambitious. While fantastic and with fascinating subject material, there is an overpowering sense through the whole novel that Gaiman bit off more than he could chew. He manages to keep storylines and sub-plots juggled throughout the tale until the ending (which consists of an Epilogue, another chapter, and then an Afterword which is pretty much another epilogue) crosses the finish line and jogs on a little longer, wheezing and panting to a stop. Mr. Gaiman! YOU ARE ALLOWED TO FINISH A STORY AFTER THE CLIMAX. And by finish it, I mean you don’t just end it. You can have more chapters in there, it’s okay. People do it all the time. Finishing American Gods you relax, begin to believe you’re done, until chapter 20 appears to be in the epilogue. This leaves the ending trudging on, stubborn and tired when you’re ready to put the book down. This is the biggest and only complaint about this book. Gaiman clearly takes on too much, mishmashing information and a truckload of characters into a novel which should be two more, or just one half the size. I say this, and still there is Anansi Boys to follow up this one. All of the material he tries to cover leaves the story not as well written as the other material I’ve read. They are light, and quickly paced. American Gods is slow with its overload of information, and some Gaiman fans find it troublesome. Of course, as stated above, it is a popular favorite of the author due to the content. The subject matter is fascinating (Kali is contemporarily worshiped by Hindus in America, by the way) and the characters as interesting as always.
Date published: 2009-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! I, personally, adored this book. I loved the descriptive art Gaiman used throughout the story, whether he was describing a character or an atmosphere... he made you feel it. This is by far, one of the most intriguing, and fascinating books I have ever read, and I loved every minute of it. :)
Date published: 2008-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good read This is my favourite book, and its writer is my favourite author. Neil Gaiman's writing is thought-provoking and makes you really think about people, places, the world, etc., while carrying a great story. Read it, or else.
Date published: 2008-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it Neil Gaiman certainly knows how to capture his audience. Even though the amount of information that is in this book and the many many references to the thousands of gods in our world, it was an absolute treat and I couldn't put the book down.
Date published: 2008-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Introduction to Gaiman Great story... Gaiman's got this sense of humour I'd love to tap into for even a day. I loved the story most just because it fueled my belief that there is a god for anything and everything that people "worship."
Date published: 2008-01-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Odd **See title** This book kinda lost me in the second chapter when reproductive organs began swallowing people. Slow start, hard to get into, sad beginning.
Date published: 2006-10-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Grabs you If someone has not read a Neil Gaiman piece, this is a perfect start. It grips ones attention, and does not let go until the end. Make sure that you spare some time to read this book. Amazing, just amazing
Date published: 2006-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gaiman will grab your attention Wow, this book surpassed all of my expectations. It is interesting, sad, funny, thrilling, intense, and a terrific story. Gaiman has written the book in a unique way. Also, it is not overwritten. Gaiman grabbed my attention, and I didn't want to stop reading. When I did stop, I kept thinking about "American Gods." Read this book, and then read it again.
Date published: 2006-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating from start to finish. What if you found out you were the son of a God and that the Gods of the old are not too fond of the Gods of the New. This is what happens in American Gods. Neil Gaiman transports us in an amaizing adventure and a world where the impossible happens. This is my all time favourite book and I highly reccomend any Novels by this author. I simply could not put down this book, it's outstanding!
Date published: 2006-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Godly Novel This book is outstanding! It is by far the most creative and unique book I have ever read. A true pleasure! If you want a novel that will challenge your preception, shock and tickle your imagination this is the book for you! American Gods should grace every reader's library.
Date published: 2005-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An incredibly rewarding read This is, by far, the most imaginative and captivating book I've read in a long, long time. Every moment is pure entertainment, and when you're not reading it I guarantee you will be thinking about it, because it's just that good, and gives you so much to ponder. The way the characters interact, and the way the story comes together (like nothing I've ever read before) is just perfect. Mind-bogglingly perfect. My only complaint is that it ended, but on such a strong note that I really have no right to complain. Not since Lord of the Rings have I ever felt so satisfied when it was all over. An amazing read.
Date published: 2004-12-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Talented Writer Without doubt, Neil Gaiman is a very talented writer, and the underlying premise of this novel is highly interesting as well. The one negative aspect of this book however, is that it starts out at a fast pace that Gaiman is unable to maintain. There is simply way too much story, and between chapter anecdotes we don't need (one of which is 13 pages long). It's a worthwhile read though.
Date published: 2004-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well worth the price of admission American Gods is both well written and well conceived. Mr. Gaiman doesn’t seem to feel any particular need to beat you over the head with unnecessary minutiae – he’s quite content to let you think on the matters he presents. Furthermore, when he introduces a character, you aren’t forced to read a detailed history ad-nauseam. While being a thoroughly entertaining read it leaves you the mystery of finding out more about the characters on your own, should you feel so inclined, and in this way he involves the reader more then most authors. It’s a book you will miss when you’re done – it’s one of those books that is a pleasure to read more then once.
Date published: 2003-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly A Higher Being American Gods, grabs you from the get go and doesn't let go until you come to its gripping conclusion.... The book, while following a certain plotline, does veer off onto various tangents throughout the book, but if you take all the pieces and put them together as a whole, no matter how much they do not make sense, and it'll come to form a beautiful picture entitled American Gods .... The various gods Gaiman uses in the book are fairly obscure gods, unless one is well versed in various religions or other cultures... Overall, the book, is extremely well balanced between its character development and action, and is one of the best reads I have ever had...
Date published: 2003-06-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from disappointed When I read this book I didn't know what to expect. It really seemed like it would be interesting at the beginning. It was very disappointing. I used to read the sandman comic and it was pretty good because it was different than the other comics and had original ideas behind it. I must admit American Gods is original but the story just isn't interesting. Gaiman just seems to slow the flow of the book down with useless scenes. Maybe he should just stick to comics.
Date published: 2003-02-26

Editorial Reviews

"American Gods is like a fast run downhill through a maze -- both exhilarating and twisted."