I didn't know what to expect from my first Neil Gaiman book: American Gods. I heard amazing things about Gaiman before this, I read "Good Omens" written with Terry Pratchett, and I love the sci-fi/fantasy genre, so it was bound to be a match made in heaven. And it certainly was.
Gaiman has made a single book out of multiple different tales, and in the process presents an image of America the way only someone coming from the outside possibly could. I enjoyed the digressions into American history and the histories of some gods. But I especially loved Shadow and Wednesday. Their characters are so well-developed that you sit in the story with them as you listen.
The performance is fantastic. I was hesitant (skeptical, really) about a "Full Cast Production" of an audio book. I'm not terribly fond of most female readers, and I've grown comfortable with the drone of a single reader doing multiple voices. On this issue, I was very, VERY wrong to be so cautious. The reading is spectacular. The use of different readers for each character gave this book so much more life, and actually enhanced certain parts of the book, as there are sections where the identity of the acting character is only implied... with the different readers, it felt like I had inside information that made those sections even more interesting.
One note, I was initially a little shocked by how sexually graphic some of the "worship" scenes were - not enough to minimize my appreciation of the book, but certainly not what I expected to be listening to while driving down the freeway at 70 MPH. Luckily, I'm always alone when listening to books, so I didn't have to worry about these scenes being witnessed by the wrong audience. And although for me it didn't detract from the story (enhanced it in many ways), some more sensitive readers may feel differently.
Bottom line: A great read. Worth every minute.
I am a nerd that love weird scifi fantasy detective novels.
Well done and entertaining and even after reading the book this version of the book kept me wanting to hear more
This book should come with a warning: "You must be high to read." Gaiman goes out of his way to be as crass and perverse as possible. I question his sanity. Worst book I've ever read.
I have been told for years to read this book and hadn't, then I listened to Gaiman's "Stardust" and loved it which stated me on a Neil Gaiman binge that lead me finally to "American Gods". It is easily one of the best fantasy stories I have ever read. I love mythology and Gaiman's creative way of bringing the worlds mythology to America with her immigrants is genius. One of my favorite qualities of a writer is their ability to build a character, Gaiman does a great job. He builds characters that you know and relate to, yet he doesn't spent pages and pages doing so. I would highly recommend listening to the full cast edition, hearing each character with their own voice was so engaging it completely sucks you into the story. Be warned once you start American Gods you will not be able to stop until every second has been played.
Avid reader through college now with no time to read. Audiobooks saved my life!
First things first, I love Shadow! His character is what hooked me in and the voice seemed perfect!
As for the book, it's one of those books that seems like they would talk a lot about in a college course somewhere. There is a lot going on and some if it makes perfect sense. Some doesn't. The thing I walked away with is that beyond all the surreal stuff is a pretty good story that can be enjoyed without really delving deeper into the other stuff that professors would love to dissect.
Harbinger of Books
I am going to skip the retelling of the story and straight for the performance. I loved the cast, the voices were perfect, I also read a long in my book and voices from the cast stayed in my head.
Very well done and honestly I think it made a great story even better.
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.