You must listen
I have listened to the original version of this three times and it never gets old. It is a great story.
was pretty fantastic.
I'm not sure I agree with my friends who say that this is a fantastic, life-changing book. I do agree with Mr. Gaiman that it is a strange, meandering book and I add that it is very relaxing and endearing.
American Gods was a great book before this 10th Anniversary Edition. It's even better now! How can you not enjoy a book that deals with all the gods...from the Norse, the Egyptians, Native American, African and a few you never heard of. Great humor, lively dialog, interesting back story.
Add in the tremendous job that the narrators did, and you have a smash hit audio book. I listened to this book over the weekend, and I wish there was more. Cliche...I laughed, I cried. I sniggered when I was in public places.
I even enjoyed the introduction and the appendix, Neil Gaiman is a fun person to listen to. 5 stars plus.
I really enjoyed the first few hours of the story. I love Shadow and Wednesday. I loved the mysteries, until they started to unfold. I am a fan of Lost, X-Files, zombie movies, vampire movies, and werewolf movies. But somehow I could not suspend disbelief for this story once the mysteries began to reveal and the weirdness accellerated. I have had all the tiger balls and talking birds I can swallow. Quit time, Part I - 5:23:41.
The characters and slow melt of mystery and intrigue captured my interest early on. But when zombies, reverse births, talking birds, and actual Gods began to dominate the story, where all conventional rules of the world are thrown out in favor of strange unpredictable fantasy elements that removed all narrative grounding necessary for me to suspend disbelief, I became frustrated and lost interest.
Performance was great. I really like this narrator. And I really enjoyed the ensemble cast. Great voice work.
Disappointed in the fantasy turn as it unraveled.
I think the full-cast production of this audiobook IS better than the printed version. It's got so much flavor, and everyone does such a good job with their performances.
It's hard to compare anything to a Neil Gaiman book. It's not something that slides right into a genre. I guess you could call it "magical realism," but it's not like other books in that genre that most people are familiar with.
Many of the lines are sarcastic, and the tonal quality of the actors' voices brings that out.
It made me laugh plenty. I don't think I cried, but I could see it if someone did.
It's a really good story, and this audiobook production is nearly flawless. Such a good investment. I'll listen to this one again.
The full cast production lends a spectacular depth and colour to an already engaging novel. I also thoroughly enjoyed the interludes by Gaiman himself, still further adding to the overall quality of this exquisite production.
Wednesday. I absolutely love Gaiman's rendering of this figure of lore and ancient religion into an enigmatic, morally ambiguous, intimately drawn character. He also infuses a great deal of humour in many unexpected places.
Gods like you and I.
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.