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American Gods | [Neil Gaiman]

American Gods

For the three years Shadow spent in prison, all he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: In an era before both iPod and printing press, people told tales of the gods around the firepit. With American Gods, master storyteller Gaiman taps that mythic vein for a genre-defying modern-day tale of gods, both ancient and new, warring under our very noses. Giving voice to Gaiman's words, George Guidall brings out both the energy and emotion of this surprisingly human tale. His characterization of the much-more-than-a-conman Mr. Wednesday is masterful. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

For the three years Shadow spent in prison, all he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place.

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.

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award Winner, Best Novel, 2002
  • Nebula Award Winner, Best Novel, 2002

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (5376 )
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4.3 (2240 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Commerce City, CO, USA 11-20-08
    Michael Commerce City, CO, USA 11-20-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "BRILLIANT! Like nothing else"

    Gaiman definately stretches your boundaries here... He doesn't pull any punches either. This story is expertly told and VERY well read, the narrator was really in tune with what the author was trying to get across and 'nailed it'! I can't say enough about this audiobook. If you can handle S.King, you'll really like this. One of my all time favorites.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Massey Kennesaw 12-07-03
    A. Massey Kennesaw 12-07-03 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    152
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    "Excellent"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary-Liz 02-28-13
    Mary-Liz 02-28-13

    I am book junkie. Read to me.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I bailed after Part 1"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Minneapolis, MN, USA 01-26-10
    Anthony Minneapolis, MN, USA 01-26-10 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An odd sidenote for audio fans..."

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. C. Pile Millwood, NY 11-23-08
    T. C. Pile Millwood, NY 11-23-08 Member Since 2004

    audiobookaholic

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Gaiman"

    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...

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Eloy, AZ, United States 08-10-08
    Angela Eloy, AZ, United States 08-10-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "New Favorite Book and Author"

    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"

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Austin, TX, USA 08-27-05
    James Austin, TX, USA 08-27-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great mix of tall tales, legends, and plot twists"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brooke Melbourne, FL, United States 01-20-04
    Brooke Melbourne, FL, United States 01-20-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sorry to see it end"

    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 ...............

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Everett, WA, United States 05-29-09
    Karen Everett, WA, United States 05-29-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Not my favorite~"

    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.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Tacoma, WA, USA 01-05-09
    Daniel Tacoma, WA, USA 01-05-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good God!"

    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.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
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