I loved the moments when Neil Gaiman took over the narration. I do love his voice and inflection. He does know his material best.
The "Coming to America" stories cut in between chapters. They were so vivid and realistic and it gives a sense of American history.
Expansive creative worlds or histories seem to be my thing these days... Too much time in a car with long drives ahead!
This book from start to finish had a great mythology, back story and plot! I really feel it was darn near flawless. Give it a listen you won't regret it!
I would rank American Gods in a definite top ten list.
Laura, Shadow's undead wife, is perhaps my favorite character for more reasons than I can name. She's so fallible and human.
This is a book that I read through in two sittings. I have listened to the audio version probably three times. The satire is absolutely breathtaking. It is ironic and funny in so many ways. This is a great american novel. I have no doubt.
The four person cast is phenomenal. Why can't all audiobooks be read like this?
I will definitely read more of Neil Gaiman's work after this.
Having never read the print version, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed the audio, full cast recording presented here. Outstanding work from Neil Gaiman and his cast.
What a strange book. I liked it.
A friend of mine recommended this book to me, and I have yet to decide whether I should thank him or spite him for it.
American Gods is a series of semi cohesive short stories that tell an overarching story (though there are some actual disconnected short stories in it). Each of these short stories or arcs are about American Culture (the book takes place in the early 00's, though it has aged extremely well) and beliefs in the modern day. That's more or less what the book is "about." What its about on a more surface level is the old polytheistic gods barely surviving in America where few people believe in and worship them. They are being replaced by the new gods, or the things that people worship these days, things such as money or media, among other things. The old gods are mostly resigned to their fate, but the new gods want them dead, though they don't really know why. The Fat Kid (internet) puts this confusion well when he says that the old gods will fade away on their own, that a paradigm shift is going on. This stops nothing.
On a more micro or literal level, the novel is about Shadow. Shadow is the main character and I rather like him. He is a mellow guy that just goes with the flow, which is what this book is. He starts out as a man just freed from Prison, until he meets Wednesday. Then he becomes intrinsically tied to everything, and everything becomes intrinsically tied to him. As I said, he is a mellow guy that goes with the flow, just observing all that goes on around him. He sees these microcosms of America and the old and new gods, they know he is important, but not why. He sees everything while on a road trip of sorts around the US. He sees small towns, large cities, holy sites new and old, and so many gods representing what people worship. Really, he is the perfect vessel for these stories.
Normally I analyze the story, the characters, and the world of a book in my reviews. But not this one. American Gods is an experience. It is about everything, and nothing at all. It has every character and none at all. I am not sure who I would recommend it to, honestly. It's a hefty book that will make you see things differently, though I'm not sure how. This book defines the saying "Your mileage may vary" after all. You will get out of it what you see. I saw a pretty accurate representation of the beliefs of people and the struggle that there is between the old and new values.
What will you get out of it? I don't know, read and find out.
The topic was unexpected and unique to me. Also the performances were very good. It was easy to form a picture of the characters in my mind because the voices really solidified the character descriptions.
Laura's character and Shadow on the tree.
A world almost forgotten
There are parts, many parts, of this book that are brilliant: extremely well told, beautifully written, and interesting; but there was something about this book that felt trite and obvious and made me want it to hurry up and be done with. That being said, I did stick it out until the end, which I don't do if I don't like a book. I don't know if I can recommend it. I hate to be wishy-washy that way, but it was an odd story and I imagine the audience for it is limited. Regardless, the protagonists are likeable, the story well developed and the ending satisfying enough. Must say it was a great jumping off book for The Odyssey, as it leaves your brain full of gods and folklore. Beautifully read.