On the plane ride home to the funeral, Shadow meets a man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday, a self-declared grifter, who offers Shadow a job. Shadow, a man with nothing to lose, accepts. But he soon learns that his role in Wednesday's schemes will be far more dangerous than he could have ever imagined.
American Gods is a dark and kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an America at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. Magnificently told, American Gods is a work of literary magic that will haunt the listener long after it has been heard.
©2001 Neil Gaiman; (P)Recorded Books, Inc.; ©2001 HarperCollinsPublishers Inc.
"Brilliant dialogue and profound insights into American consciousness show Gaiman to be a visionary and a master wordsmith." (AudioFile)
"Neil Gaiman enters Stephen King territory...with American Gods." (New York Post)
"A crackerjack suspense yarn...juicily original...Wagnerian noir." (Salon.com)
"By turns thoughtful, hilarious, disturbing, uplifting, horrifying and enjoyable, and sometimes all at once." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
This was the first Neil Gaiman book I have read (listened) to and I really enjoyed it! I was hesitant to purchase since I generally do not like to ready fantasy, but all the other reviews convinced me to give it a try and I am glad I did. It was fun to learn about the "House on the Rock" and "Rock City" in an all new context.
Not so much a review of the book, but just a comment on audiobooks. George Guidall is a top notch narrator; one of the best. But his style and the style of this book made this sound EXACTLY like his narrations for Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. I kid you not; I think this one could be dropped in the middle and no one would know different.
For the record I enjoyed this book and I also enjoyed Stephen King's.
I really, really love Neil Gaiman's work. I adored The Graveyard Book, Anansi Boys, Stardust, Neverwhere... And I loved the reading of each of those books by Neil or Anansi Boys by Lenny Henry. But this book... this book was different. Ultimately, the story was engrossing and tied together neatly with some interesting perspectives... but the journey there was not always very enjoyable.
Maybe it was the extremely adult nature of some of the passages... grossly violent, gory or sexual that I just don't associate with NG's work. Or, perhaps it's that every other audio book of his that I've listened to has been read with a sultry British accent, and this reader's rendition was somewhat harsh and unpleasant to the ear. Or maybe the fact that I found only one or two of the myriad of characters to actually be very likable.
Regardless... my final take on this story is that it is not my favorite book. I expect that I'll listen to my other Neil Gaiman audio books over and over.... This one? I think I'm done. Still... if you're a Neil Gaiman fan, I think it's ultimately worth a listen. But don't be surprised if you don't find yourself as enamored as you are of his other work.
I only knew Neil Gaiman from his work in The Sandman comics, and even then my knowledge was pretty limited. However, knowing the acclaim he has gotten for his work, I decided to give American Gods a read. It's weird and it's strange, but it's also very engaging. The characters and scenes came to life very easily and that could be attributed to the reading of George Guidall. He is one of the best I have heard so far and he was able to convince me that every character that I heard was very different indeed. I give the book itself a ****, but I add another * for the excellent reading. If there's one Neil Gaiman book you buy, start here.
Neil Gaiman's unique mix of fairy tale, humor, science-fiction, and tragedy is a beautiful thing when it's firing on all cylinders. He is able to create worlds that are completely believable one moment and utterly impossible the next. In this epic story of exiled gods trying to find their way back to Valhalla, Olympus, or wherever else they came from, he examines the myths at the core of our civilization while simultaneously providing a hilarious gangster story complete with shadowy agents, double-crosses, and Russian expatriates. Nothing is what it seems to be...
Poet, Writer, Novice Planetary Scientist, Musician, Hooligan, Former Audience Guy, Protector of Stupid Princesses.
I had never read this author before, but because it was an award winner, I decided to try it. George Guidall is always a great narrator so that was a plus from the start.
Neil Gaiman does a wonderful job creating memorable characters in this book. He both pokes fun at and at the same time shows respect to Gods and Religions as well as "America" with a capital A.
My only complaint is that in a couple of spots he gets a little heavy handed with trying to make a point about one thing or another. But since the author does this through the character's dialog and not in the narration, it is not very distracting.
I liked the fact that Shadow, the main character, really comes alive in his dialog and patterns of speech. I began to feel like I knew him, and what he was likely to say in a given situation. Since I am reviewing an audio book, I have to compliment George Guidall for enhancing this.
I was very satisfied with this novel, and would recommend it.
What a refreshing change. This book mixes in a variety of myths, legends, and tall tales into a suspensful tale of its own with plot twists that keep you guessing all the way. It's well read with lively voice characterizations that made the listen much more interesting for me. Highly recommended.
Once again it's midnight and I can't sleep, but then again I haven't slept since starting this audiobook. I own literally 100+ audiobooks in various formats and I bought this in hardcopy after listening to it. This and Lonesome Dove are the only ones. It is unique in it's concepts and defining in it genre. But, what is it genre since it crosses so many lines. It's like driving on a 8 lane freeway at 85 miles an hr. and weaving in and out of traffic and each car passed is has its own ...............
WOW...I listened to Neils G. book "Neverwhere" and really liked it, which is why I decided to give this a listen. This book is extraordinary in concept and fluidity of story. The concept is ingenious. I cannot praise it enough..PURE CREATIVE GENIUS & TALENT.. I will listen to it again. For those who wrote complaining of the language..Give me a break, the character portrayal would be lacking without it, and gives the book a more realistic feel. This book contains convicts and thugs as characters...Swearing is a natural part of there vernacular expression.(there really was not that much) I don't mean to offend the people that wrote those comments, but I almost did not get the book because of those reviews. And that would have been a great loss not to have experienced the journey of "American Gods"
I am a book junkie. Read to me.
I love Neil Gaiman, I really do, but I could not keep reading this. This is his "revised" version, which adds something like 20,000 more words to the narrative. Really. Too much. George Guidall is a good narrator and gamely tackles the often difficult text with strong characterizations and lively conversations, but it wasn't enough. I just found the story about demons and angels battling in the Midwest frustrating, weird and alienating.
I felt guilty giving up but I did. Life's too short. So sue me.
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