Maybe, because there are so many nuances to grasp.
The revelation of the towns murderer.
Not at all, way to much to digest all in one sitting
The end of the book becomes a bit bewildering and could have ended better I believe; however it is a long topic to cover with enthusiasm enough to cover such a long story. The writer did well, hence I gave it 5 stars, pretty heavy stuff.
THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE AUDIOBOOK VERSION
In Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, every immigrant to America brings with them the gods of their homeland. As the country has grown, however, these gods have been forgotten. New gods—the gods of railroads, cars, media and computers—have arisen and taken their place and their power. But the old gods—stuck in this land that isn’t made for gods—won’t go down without a fight. Mr. Wednesday is attempting to organize the old gods for the coming battle with the new gods. To help him, he’s recruited Shadow—a man whose release from prison coincides with the death of his beloved wife Laura. With nothing left to lose, Shadow agrees to work for Wednesday and finds himself embarking on a long strange trip to some of the holy places of America—all the while catching glimpses into the “backstage” world of the gods.
I’ve been hearing about Neil Gaiman ever since I started blogging and made a mental note to try one of his books. So when Audible had a special on The Tenth Anniversary Edition of American Gods with a full-cast recording, I decided to take the leap into Gaiman land. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this long rambling book wasn’t it. Perhaps it was the fact that the book was too many things at once: a long road trip, a fantasy book with every mythological creature you’ve ever heard of, a murder mystery, a love story, a commentary on America, a history lesson.
The most interesting aspect of the book was the incarnations of the various gods in their “Americanized” form. If nothing else, the book made me want to run out and purchase a book of myths to learn more about the various incarnations of the gods that immigrants brought with them to America. I’m sure that a really good background on various myths from a variety of countries would greatly enhance the reading experience. (Note: After typing the previous sentence, I found this web site which provides basic information on the gods referenced in the book. Reading through it, I realize that having this information would have made a real difference in my appreciation and enjoyment of the book! In fact, just reading through the web site and seeing what Gaiman has done, is now retroactively making me change my opinion about the book.)
I know that Gaiman first came to prominence with the Sandman graphic novels, and if ever a book cried out for illustrations, American Gods is it. In fact, I think this book would have totally rocked as a graphic novel. The visuals were easy to conjure up in my mind, and as I listened, I was almost picturing such a book in my head.
In the end, I think a really good grounding in mythology would make this a much richer and deeper read/listen. You cannot just go into this book without any knowledge or you’ll find that, on the surface, it is a long and meandering book that can begin to get frustrating. However, if you have a good grounding in mythology (or at least browse through the web site I linked to above before reading), the book might come alive for you in a way that it didn’t for me during my 19 hours of listening.
ABOUT THE NARRATION
I love listening to books that have multiple narrators. It makes the book come alive in a very different way. Also, in a long listen like this one, having different voices added variety and interest. It also helped me keep track of who was talking as I got to know the voices of the main characters. Still, all things considered, I think I would have preferred an annotated and illustrated print version of the book (not that such a version exists—but what an awesome idea for the 20th anniversary of the book!!!)
I like autumn night times. Curtains drawn. The dim lamp. Chaired with a book. Fireside hours. A warm peace.
Usually I don't dabble in the category of Science Fiction type books, but I figured I'd give this a shot...MISTAKE. I wanted to enjoy this book as much as the others who praised and jumped for joy in the other reviews. However, that wasn't the case with this book. I found myself more confused throughout the story. I was never "captured" or "riveted" as some others would say. I couldn't understand where the characters were half of the time and when I finally did figure it out, the author jumped around again. I couldn't easily follow it and perhaps, Science Fiction type books just aren't my thing. Maybe I need to listen to it again (not likely anytime soon.) If they're thinking about making this an HBO mini-series, then it should fit right in with a few of those shows that make you wonder why such a cult following for such a dull story line. Basically, if you have trouble sitting still while watching Dramas on TV, then I'd advise you to skip this book and find something more "up your alley."
Listens while running
I originally read American Gods years ago, not long after it came out. It was my introduction to Neil Gaiman, and I loved it. When the 10th anniversary edition came out, I was quick to snatch it, but when I saw this full cast production, I decided to listen instead of reread in print. It was my first, and thus far only, experience with a full cast production. For me, it was perfect. The main narrator was solid, the voice casting struck me perfectly throughout the story, and the "Coming to America" stories, narrated by Gaiman himself, were possibly my favorite part.
Listening to this version of the book reminded me of listening to old radio programs with my mom (though this has some considerably racier bits than I remember from that!), and while I love solo narration dearly, this form felt perfect for this book.
Maybe it was just me, but this was a hard story to get into in audible form. Too much flipping around from one line to another, felt disjointed, the build up stories weren't very interesting, and so I could not complete listening to it. I might not have stuck it out long enough, but, my listening time is too valuable to hold out too long with boring buildup. I gave it a good effort too - 9 hours out of 20...
I would tell them to get another version. The full cast version was not very good.
The way all the mythological figures interacted with the modern world.
I would get one with only one narrator.
The way Shadow's wife was loyal to him after her death.
I am very careful to read all the reviews on books I read for any hints of a "rating." No mention was made of what a dark and disturbing book this is from the very beginning. There is a stream of swearing throughout but it fits with the disturbing characters who use it. There are vividly described "sex" scenes that really makes one wonder about the mind of someone who conjures up such things in able to write them. I was not able to finish the book as much as I would have liked to because my moral compass simply would not allow me to go on. I have not read anything by Gaiman before and in future I will be sure to skirt around anything with his name on it.
I wish I could put my finger on what it was that I didn't like about the narration. I guess it just felt a little hokey and unreal.
Neil Gaiman is an excellent writer and I could have enjoyed this book except for the excessive swearing and graphic sex. The narration was excellent but after listening to the first part I decided not to listen to the next two parts as I suspected the swearing and graphic sexual descriptions would continue. Just preferred not to fill my mind with those words or thoughts. Unfortunately, I can't say that I felt my time was well spent listening to the first part since I couldn't make myself finish the book, plus I feel as though I've wasted a credit.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Ender series; however, I recognize those books are written more for adolescents than middle-aged adults.
I have not read the print edition, but I greatly enjoyed the full cast in this audio edition. The characters were full of life and the interactions were perfect.
I liked the clues that were given about characters and symbols without actually telling you directly.
I enjoyed the scene where Shadow visited the underworld. It was a turning point in his character.
Yes. Definitely. I finished this book very quickly, carrying my audio device around with me for chores.
I always like a full cast production. It makes it easier to keep track of the characters and there are a lot of them here.
I had no idea where it was going. I'm still not sure if I really understood the last half. I will be listening to this again.