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)
Gaiman takes an essentially absurd premise, that the old gods of the old world have found their way to the new and are literally dying for a revival movement, and makes you WANT to believe it, by presenting his story from the perspective of a not-entirely sympathetic but nonetheless loveable protagonist - Shadow. Shadow has become Odin's Administrative Assistant, and has become engaged in an elaborate con-game designed to wrest power from the new gods (TV, Money, Town, World, etc), and suffered personal tragedies that make this work seem palatable in comparison with returning to his day-to-day life. As the conflict builds, Shadow becomes aware that his own choices may indeed affect its resolution in ways that he is not certain he can control.
Gaiman's writing is beautifullay paced, clean, and interesting. The book embeds several stories within itself, each as engaging as the overall plot. The characters are not only archtetypical, but believable and enchanting.
The Audible version is very well performed, with the narrator giving each character their own consistent voiced personality.
This is a great piece of post-modern fantasy, and the Audible version is well worth getting.
Ughh, what a waste of a credit! I gave up 3/4 of the way through Part One. There was not a single character that I liked. This is obviously one of those either Love It of Hate It books, I just wish I had done a little more investigating into what OTHER books the rave reviewers liked. This is one of only two books I've purchased from Audible that I just couldn't finish.
I bought this book after I read the reviews, and found that it's been one of the best purchases I've made from Audible. The book is dark, and light, happy, and sad. If you like to let your imagination go, and look at life from someone elses view then you won't be disappointed with this book. The author doesn't leave you hanging out in the middle of nowhere on any of the characters, and you find yourself enjoying the characters (even the ones you don't like) because you can relate some part of each one of them to someone you know in your own life. This book was just plain fun to listen to.
I purchased this book after listening to "Anansi Boys" by the same author. Although I thought "Anansi Boys" was the better of the two, this was still an excellent book and I'd defintely recommend it. A caveat: the humor/storyline may be a bit dark for some, and I wouldn't recommend this book for people who are offended by 'adult' themes.
I read this book shortly after it was released and remembered that it was very enjoyable. I downloaded the audio book for my wife and I to listen to in the car during our daily commute. What I had forgotten was how dark and moody the book is...I don't thing my wife will ever forget it.
A very imaginative story with enough plot twists to keep it interesting. I had listened to the author's other book on Audible ("Anansi Boys"), and though this one lacked the humor in that book, I actually preferred it. The mixture of realism and fantasy, and the concept of parallel realities was reminicent of "The Stand", "Dr. Strange and Mr. Norrel" and "Wormwood". The author pulled it off well. The narrator was very engaging.
I'm in agreement with everbody else. This was a really good story. Anansi Boys, which was released after this one, is good too, and it is kind of a sequel. But this one had me taking notes to find out about all of the different Deities that are being referred to, and it was almost like an education in mythology. Anyways its really good.
I love other things by Gaiman, which is what prompted me to try this one. Overall I enjoyed it, and will eventually get around to the sequel, but there were some scenes I found quite disturbing. There is one memorable episode of a very graphic sexual nature which was all the more disconcerting because it seemed to come out of nowhere. I tend to choose entertainment that is weird or quirky, but this got a little too weird even for me. And yet, the writing was good, it's full of interesting characters, and I have to give very high marks for an original story. Ultimately I liked it, but I can't exactly recommend it.
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