The bestselling author of Neverwhere returns with his biggest, most commercial novel yet—a tour de force of contemporary fiction
A master of inventive fiction, Neil Gaiman delves into the murky depths where reality and imagination meet. Now in American Gods, he works his literary magic to extraordinary results.
Shadow dreamed of nothing but leaving prison and starting a new life. But the day before his release, his wife and best friend are killed in an accident. On the plane home to the funeral, he meets Mr. Wednesday—a beguiling stranger who seems to know everything about him. A trickster and rogue, Mr. Wednesday offers Shadow a job as his bodyguard. With nowhere left to go, Shadow accepts, and soon learns that his role in Mr. Wednesday’s schemes will be far more dangerous and dark than he could have ever imagined. For beneath the placid surface of everyday life a war is being fought —and the prize is the very soul of America.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Do Americans worship anything besides money, beauty, phones, and cars? Ask Shadow, a man enlisted to serve a strange deity who’s taken human form and is looking for allies in a coming war between Old and New. American Gods, Neil Gaiman’s richly imagined pageturner, invites you to suspend disbelief and open yourself to the possibility that the divine world harbors something ancient, alive—and worth believing in. Gaiman’s fluid prose effortlessly propels Shadow through a thrilling, hall-of-mirrors plot.
Titans clash, but with more fuss than fury in this fantasy demi-epic from the author of Neverwhere. The intriguing premise of Gaiman's tale is that the gods of European yore, who came to North America with their immigrant believers, are squaring off for a rumble with new indigenous deities: "gods of credit card and freeway, of Internet and telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and of beeper and of neon." They all walk around in mufti, disguised as ordinary people, which causes no end of trouble for 32-year-old protagonist Shadow Moon, who can't turn around without bumping into a minor divinity. Released from prison the day after his beloved wife dies in a car accident, Shadow takes a job as emissary for Mr. Wednesday, avatar of the Norse god Grimnir, unaware that his boss's recruiting trip across the American heartland will subject him to repeat visits from the reanimated corpse of his dead wife and brutal roughing up by the goons of Wednesday's adversary, Mr. World. At last Shadow must reevaluate his own deeply held beliefs in order to determine his crucial role in the final showdown. Gaiman tries to keep the magical and the mundane evenly balanced, but he is clearly more interested in the activities of his human protagonists: Shadow's poignant personal moments and the tale's affectionate slices of smalltown life are much better developed than the aimless plot, which bounces Shadow from one episodic encounter to another in a design only the gods seem to know. Mere mortal readers will enjoy the tale's wit, but puzzle over its strained mythopoeia. (One-day laydown, June 19)
Customer ReviewsSee All
To Each Their Own
First, Gaiman is a master story teller. At its roots, this book is exactly that.
I've read reviews ranging from one star ( pointless, too much going on, confusing, erratic, all over the place etc.), to those who thoroughly enjoyed it ( where I'd say 85 percent do ).
This was an amazing read for me. Lots going on, yes. But not in a confusing or labouring fashion. I hung off of every word and I haven't read a book that I couldn't put down like this one, in a long time. Amazing characters ( there are a lot but they all play their role wonderfully),
exciting plot advancement.
Take a shot with it, just go in and enjoy the book for what it is, a unique story. The rest will follow
A fantastic novel. It's up there in the pantheon of Peter Straub's "Ghost story",Clive Barker's "The Great and Secret show", Dan Simmons "Carrion Comfort" and of course,Stephen King's "The Stand". A must read.
Favourite Book of all time!
I love the characters, the settings, the story, the history, the gods, the everything! Sure, it can be a bit “all over the place” when switching back and forth between separate groups, but in all honesty I didn’t find it hard to follow at all, and was interested in every single one of the character’s actions.