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
It has been a long time since I have read a novel that I could not put down. I was up well after midnight just to learn what would happen next. This book deserves all the awards it has won.
It’s hard to find a book that pulls you in and doesn’t let go until the end. This book had me invested in every way from the get go. Neil Gaiman does a spectacular job of weaving an emotional, thrilling, and magical story about a regular man in a chaotic world of gods. From mythology to mystery, this book proved that it was a phenomenal read.
It started me at the last page and I was so confused