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American Gods | [Neil Gaiman]

American Gods

After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in apparently adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr. Wednesday, claiming to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god, and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town.
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Publisher's Summary

After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But as the days, then the hours, then the seconds until his release tick away, he can feel a storm building. Two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in apparently adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr. Wednesday, claiming to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god, and the king of America.

Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town. But they are being pursued by someone with whom Shadow must make his peace.... Disturbing, gripping, and profoundly strange, Neil Gaiman's epic new novel sees him on the road to finding the soul of America.

©2001 Neil Gaiman (P)2012 Headline Digital

What the Critics Say

"Gaiman is a treasure house of story and we are lucky to have him." (Stephen King)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (164 )
5 star
 (101)
4 star
 (45)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.4 (152 )
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.6 (151 )
5 star
 (107)
4 star
 (33)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Sarandos Johannesburg, South Africa 11-07-12
    Sarandos Johannesburg, South Africa 11-07-12 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Flawless!!"
    Any additional comments?

    American Gods has been an amazing book since the day it was published, but this 10th anniversary production has resulted in the best audiobook I have ever heard. Perfect narrators, flawless character voices, seamless production - all doing justice to as rich a story and set of characters as you could ever hope for - set in the beatifully crafted attic spaces of America that those of us who don't live there love to read about and imagine. Thank you Mr. Gaiman and all those who put this production together, this is a new standard in audiobooks and it has made my life richer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ratna Northam, Australia 09-19-12
    ratna Northam, Australia 09-19-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant Listen"
    Any additional comments?

    Tight plot, great characters, very Neil Gaiman, some are definitely warped and disgusting, the bad guys/good guys interplay is clever, the spiritual journey personified, America is mocked in an offbeat way and as always Mr Gaiman, thank you for the magic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stuart 07-12-12
    Stuart 07-12-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "The best book I have ever listened to"

    This book was totally captivating. It is flawlessly constructed and very clever, without being unaccessably highbrow. Often when listening to audiobooks my mind will drift off elsewhere, but that didn't happen once during American Gods which is a huge compliment to the quality of Neil Gaiman's writing.
    Adding to the experience was the excellent performance of the narrator, George Guidall, whose voice for each character perfectly captured every one. I will be looking for more books where he has been the narrator - just excellent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne Brisbane, Australia 06-17-12
    Suzanne Brisbane, Australia 06-17-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "eh!"

    I love this book, but fair warning this version is not actually read by Neil Gaiman as it suggests in the audible info. The narrator's voice is a bit bland.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    Exeter, United Kingdom
    2/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I didn't want to like this book, but I loved it."

    Reading the description I didn't think I would like this and fully expected to be returning it before the end. I only tried it because I loved stardust so much that I figured it was worth a gamble.
    Turns out I was hooked within about 10 minutes!
    I was intrigued, I really liked the main character and some of the other characters (Anansi might be my favourite) and felt intrigued about the less likeable characters.
    I loved how all of the little sub plots knitted together and I honestly didn't see what was coming until right before it happened.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    Okehampton, United Kingdom
    6/19/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Original and memorable"

    Beautifully read this is a very unusual story that is unpredictable and intriguing. A great audiobook that I thoroughly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Newark, United Kingdom
    4/10/13
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    Having heard great things about this book, I decided to go back and have a listen.



    Neil Gaiman easy style draws you through this vast; meandering; monster of a novel.



    George Guidall does a great job with the main narrative and Gaiman's asides around the history of various minor gods is engaging.



    A great audio book of a great novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    Sowerby Bridge, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "My new favourite book"

    I'd listened to the Anansi Boys narrated by Lenny Henry and loved it, knowing at the time that it was vaguely connected to American Gods, but Lenny was the draw.



    Don't know why but I wasn't particularly drawn to American Gods, but after constant recommendations I thought I'd seek out the audiobook. Initially I was put off by the reviews regarding the narration, but decided to proceed with caution.



    The narration is perfect for the book and kept me entertained from chapter to chapter, an absolute pleasure to listen too.



    The story itself is so full personality. I became attached to many of the characters, but none more so than Shadow. I was upset when it ended and I hope to enter into that world again soon.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Neil
    United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Brilliantly written but just plods along"

    I can't help but feel more should've happened in this book or more explanation. The characters are great and the world they live in but I don't know. It just.... lacked. Its a shame cause the audio is amazing. Different actors for every voice and each great. I hope this becomes the benchmark for audiobooks. It really is a great performance but as I said the story just isn't all there for me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Pippa
    UK
    7/28/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great dramatisation - but tooooooo long"
    Would you try another book written by Neil Gaiman or narrated by Neil Gaiman and George Guidall ?

    yes I would (but one which his editor had shortened!)


    If you’ve listened to books by Neil Gaiman before, how does this one compare?

    I think the dramatisation of this one was better than the other I've listened to.


    Have you listened to any of Neil Gaiman and George Guidall ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I think the dramatisation of this one was better than the other I've listened to.


    Could you see American Gods being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    Yes, no idea


    Any additional comments?

    This was a good story, very well dramatised and narrated. However it is the author's own version, in which he states he has added a lot that the publisher cut out. Sorry, but I think the publisher was right to delete sections - it was overall too long and would have benefited from the editing/cutting.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Oscar Cassidy
    8/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "American Gods > On The Road"

    God. Kerouac's 'On The Road' is overrated, isn't it? I mean, yeah, it's quite good and the 'beat' movement was important, but it's annoyingly insular. What happens in it? Best answer, "Stuff". Inconsequential stuff. The minor details are nice but I'm left unsatisfied. I'll tell you what a good American road tale needs: Gods. Gods and a history of humanity. The need to explore, the need to take root and find a home, the need to honour ancestry but disregard it enough to embrace the future. A tale about humble people working their way through a potentially epic scenario.
    The performances here are pitch perfect. George Guidall does the heavy lifting with the main narrative arc, while the supporting short stories that fineline the edges are delivered by Gaiman himself.
    I guess On The Road and American Gods are both slightly outsider views of the giant beast of America. Maybe my perspective as a Brit is biased towards Gaiman's. Maybe Kerouac could have spiced On The Road up with a few more murder mysteries, witty anti-heroes, bizarre sex scenes, terrifying violence and sympathetic undead characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • d
    7/30/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "wonderfully beautiful."

    I would say that this has something for everyone. The ultimate road trip and like some very special books, a good friend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • R. James
    Wales
    7/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not what I expected"

    This book reminded me of the best parts of Stephen King. A fantastic plot overlaid on a very normal world backdrop.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kyle
    7/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well, now I'm hooked on audiobooks"
    What made the experience of listening to American Gods the most enjoyable?

    The story hooks you and the performance drives this by immersing you fully. From Gaiman's introduction you can tell how much passion, time and research has gone into this novel, and it shines through when listening.


    What other book might you compare American Gods to, and why?

    There's a new-ish graphic novel that has some similar themes, it's called "The Wicked + The Divine"; it's a beautifully drawn and if you like the story here it's more great god-like mythos updated to present day.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I think it's the chraracter of Shadow that stood out most to me, more than a specific scene. So scenes where he's interacting with other big characters like Czernobog and Anansi were great.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    While it's a fantastical story there's a lot of human comedy in there. It's quite powerful and you root and become attached to characters but all in all it's still pretty uplifting.


    Any additional comments?

    This was the first audio-book I got with Audible and I was sceptical about signing up,but after this I have to face it that I'm hooked now, I don't think there's any looking back. So it's needless to say that this rendition of American Gods alone has sold me on the audio-book medium.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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