American Gods is somewhat of a legendary book and its easy to see why. It's an epic tale of a man who ends up in the middle of a war between old Gods (ie the Norse Gods and the Indian Gods) and the New Gods ( ie the Gods of techology and television). I have seen quite a few authors list Neil Gaiman as an influence..If you read Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne its easy to imagine them as fans of this book.
The main character is really likable and I became attached to many of the complementary characters. The story is good and thought provoking. It meanders a little in some places, but this is the unabridged version. The performance is top-notch.
This is a good book and I think most people will enjoy it.
Not everyone is a fan of Gaiman. I know after I read Stardust I would have put myself in the “Gaiman is overhyped” category. I just wasn’t a huge fan; it seemed jumbled and awkward. However, in 2012 I kept seeing Anansi Boys and American Gods pop up on recommendation lists. I decided to give Anansi Boys a try since it was shorter. That’s when I discovered that Gaiman is one of those authors I need to hear to appreciate. To me, Gaiman is a storyteller. Maybe some people would say that all authors are storytellers by definition, but to me one does not equate to the other. I feel like this review could get derailed by a philosophical discussion on storytelling vs. writing, so suffice it to say this will be some kind of Writer Wednesday post in the near future.
Anyway, American Gods. I thought it was really enjoyable. The full cast audio version really added value – at 20 hours, one narrator might be a little tedious for listening (for me at least). Having the variety made it a more dynamic listening experience, and it was easier to follow different strands and stay engaged. I’ve read a couple of reviews on Goodreads that voice some concerns about buying into the “stakes” of the plot or feeling a connection to the protagonist. I didn’t experience this while listening. In fact, I occasionally found myself feeling earnest for the next major development or a new character to emerge. I just kept wanting to be immersed in this world.
The author’s preface really sets the tone for some of the origin narratives throughout the novel. Gaiman notes that he set out to tell different kinds of stories, one of which was a “coming to America” thread. Frankly, these were some of my favorite parts of the book – how different groups (and thus, different gods) came to America ties in quite nicely with some Gaiman’s interwoven mythology.
The Bottom Line:
American Gods is a bold fictional exploration of mythology in America and what binds us.
i like to read. i like to listen.
YES! I read this book years ago, and didn't enjoy it NEARLY as much as I did when i listened to it just now. It changed my whole thoughts on the book -- made it so much better. This full cast recording was just perfect to help get through a somewhat difficult read like this one!
The magic. I liked the parts where Shadow was visited by his wife. I thought the interactions between Shadow and Wednesday were great. All of the parts where the gods interacted with Shadow were great. The ending was great.
Yeh, I liked the whole story best.
I liked Shadow. I fell in love with him through the narrator. Honestly.
I love Neil Gaiman...truly...and I think he knows how to write great characters. Everyone we meet in this story, from Shadow (whom I am in love with like my mom loves Mr. Darcy) to Wednesday to Mr. Nancy to Sam Black Crow, are great characters. I love the dialogue...it's realistic, but not boring. The magic in the story is, of course, perfect. I like gods. I like the idea of them, and I love the idea of them living among us...holding on with every last bit they can to stay alive in the minds of humans, so that they don't disappear. In the hands of Gaiman, the gods become so poignant and powerful...they become real...and isn't that what they wanted all along?
Anyone who loves a great American novel needs to read this. I'd just finished Let the Great World Spin, and I was doubtful that anything could adequately follow its gritty beauty. This surpassed. I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys strong prose, a touch of fantasy and a down low look at the underbelly of our great nation.
I should have paid attention to the numerous bad reviews for this book. It was on sale and listed as one of the best books of the year so I gave it a try. Regretfully.
It is nonsensical and rambling with little if any plot. If I was reading it I would have been skimming pages and whole chapters. There are numerous dream sequences which make no sense and add nothing to the slim story. There are whole chapters involving stories about "gods"coming to america which do not relate to the main story and usually involve a graphic and disturbingly unnecessary sex act. The rest is just plain boring. Nothing much happens. Endless descriptions of boring places in dreary small towns.
I am very dissappointed because a lot of people seem to really like this author and I had high hopes for this book. It was terrible.
I wanted so much more. Why were the reviews so good. I could not listen to this book totally. I kept zoneing out. Big waist of a credit.
The narrator really brought the characters to life for me
The many gods an plot twists. Along with a perfectly wrapped ending
Was able to tell each. Character just by the personality of the read
The hanging tree and shadows speech at the last battle
An all around great book and reader
While American Gods may take long detours and explore things that are not entirely necessary to the main story, it all builds up a world which I cannot get enough of. The cast of this audio book was amazing as well, and they really drew me into the story. My wife disliked the full cast production, so if you aren't a fan of that style go for the regular one voice style.
Shadow and the tree.
The narrators brought a sense of immediacy and realness that I never got reading the book. They really brought the characters to life in my mind.
What happens to the Gods we throw away? America, Landfill of the Gods.
The voice acting and narration was nearly perfect. All of the accents and dialects were flawless and the acting was superb. The actor playing Shadow fell flat...maybe even flatter that Gaiman intended him to be, but still very enjoyable.
This was just a series of deus ex machina after deus ex machina. It was an interesting premise and and interesting look at mythology and religion, but nothing in the story had any significant consequence. The characters were neither likable or worthy of hate. Neil took an interesting premise and turned it into an entire world and it just fell flat and failed to inspire any emotion. It was beautifully written, but the story was just generic and aimless. By the time readers learned what was at stake, it was irrelevant.
The narrator was flawless. His tones and inflections were subtle enough to suggest any narrative that one might miss in reading, but never so blatant that they felt forceful.
I would see this movie, but reluctantly. Not so much because I want to see this story in live action, but because I'd be curious to see how it could be converted from a novel to a motion picture. Much of the novel was written in a way that only resembles the way we dream...I'm not so sure that a movie could capture that.
Brilliant voice acting, but the story was an overall letdown that seemed, at times, to pander to fans of Gaiman's previous works. I enjoyed it overall, but only thanks to the amazing performances of the voice actors. If you've read the book years ago and want to revisit it, then this is for you. Otherwise, proceed cautiously. .
Yes, there was so much in this book that I know I missed a great deal.
I liked how the author showed you how no matter what God you believe in you are right.