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Destined to be a treasure for the millions of fans who made American Gods an internationally bestselling phenomenon, this beautifully designed and illustrated collectible edition of Neil Gaiman’s revered masterpiece features enlightening and incisive notes throughout by award-winning annotator and editor Leslie S. Klinger.
A perennial favorite of readers worldwide, American Gods tells the story of ex-con Shadow Moon, who emerges from prison and is recruited to be bodyguard, driver, and errand boy for the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday. So begins a dark and strange road trip full of fantastical adventures and a host of eccentric characters. For, beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and Shadow is standing squarely in its path.
This annotated volume of the Author’s Preferred Text features analysis from Leslie S. Klinger. His trenchant commentary identifies gods and supernatural beings, elucidates key phrases, and shows how Gaiman built his award-winning novel, giving readers unparalleled insight into the story and into Gaiman’s creative process and authorial decisions. Carefully chosen illustrations complement and illuminate the narrative.
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)