The premise of the book is really interesting - gods from all mythologies are real and have tangible avatars on the earth! I loved Age of Mythology and Titan Quest so this seemed like a fascinating fit for me, unfortunately this plot and this concept is absolutely squandered in my opinion. There's very little development or backstory on the gods, the extent of their powers, their limitations, how they and other supernatural creatures interact with the world and stay hidden but alive, the rise of new gods and potential for cyclical changes there could have led to other spinoffs or sequels.
There were some really interesting possibilities for the new gods too, like Pharmaceuticals or Patriotism, Pornography, Video Games? Phones? Terrorism? War of varying types? Nuclear Power? The internet? No ,instead we get... uhh 'computer boy' and 'media' are the only ones I can think of but beyond computer boy smelling like silicon wafers and other computer-related things they really don't show off any powers or character development. I thought there was going to be a lot more done with the New Gods' cronies, in fact I thought they were gods of a sort themselves considering their names: Mr. World, Mr. Town? Not as interesting as an Internet god but new gods of the mundane still seem like they've got some great potential
That's not the only problem though, the plot ambles along slowly... and slowly... until some split-instant occurrence instantly changes the plot. And it happens a few times too! And then when you finally get to the climax it's really rather a let-down, something specific is hinted at and built up throughout the entire book and then it fizzles out like a dud firework with the same amount of disappointment
The other glaring problem with this book is how outright bland the main character is, which is really funny because it's written into the book too. His eponymous behavior as a child earned him the moniker, he spent his life (and life in prison) being taciturn to protect himself so he doesn't say much let alone anything really interesting, despite his experiences! I mean he meets a bunch of gods and other creatures and the writer has the audacity to show off how he just accepts things, he's a perfect literary foil to deliver information to the audience about the world he inhabits because he doesn't know anything about it. Shadow could ask questions we might to bring us into the fold. Instead he goes for walks so he doesn't have to think. Blergh. Oh, here's another, it's a plot point that a major character tells Shadow they think he's never really lived and that seems like the author twisting the knife a little more because that's a perfect description of his behavior throughout the book, he just goes along with whatever is going on and doesn't seem to have any desires of his own, he just passes the time.
Let's pivot a little and finish with the good - I was surprised to start listening and hear it mentioned that this was a full-cast performance, I hadn't encountered this before so this was a first for me. It really worked with this book because there are just a lotttttttttttt of characters! And the different voices mean that a character can be gone most of the book before returning and you'll still have no problem placing their voice because they're all very recognizable and distinct. A really superb amount of work went into all these performances and it forms a very cohesive and enjoyable experience, the 20 hour duration goes by quickly!
This was a well-written story with excellent character development! While several characters were a riff on gods both ancient and new, the author spun then in new and different ways. The performance was award-worthy with a distinct voice for each of the many many characters. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to American Gods.
This book was recommended to me by a coworker and I found it to be awesome! Neil Gaiman really knows how to tell a story and the cast did an excellent job reading it. Honestly it will be hard to go back listening to books read by a single narrator. highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good fantasy story based on old religion mythology.
absolutely loved this book. used it for a cross country road trip and kept listening every chance I had. I think it would be easier to follow this book in audio than on paper, because the voices automatically let you know who, or who you think, you hear. great book. fantastic mythology. caused me to look up the mythology odd the characters. the author did a lot of research. absolutely awesome.
This book. I mean, come on. It's great. First, the performances by the voice actors are top notch. Next, the story itself is magnificent. If you like American stories, Steven Spielberg, Justified, Avengers, or Star Wars, you'll probably love this audiobook.
musician in training
The voices fit the characters very well and I appreciated that the author narrated some chapters himself. Reminded me that this is my favorite Gaiman book.
The premise seemed interesting and this book got solid reviews. I got pretty deep into the book hoping something would happen but its a non stop snoozefest. At no time do I feel even vaguely invested in any of the characters and the book just crawls along. Not sure how this got so many good reviews.
I really loved this audiobook which felt more like an old fashioned radio play with so many different voices to the narrative including Gaiman himself who is fantastic. I read the book about eight years ago and this was different enough in how it was presented that that previous reading didn't harm my enjoyment at all.