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
"Gaiman is a treasure house of story and we are lucky to have him." (Stephen King)
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I like Neil Gaiman, I have to be honest though, when I picked up the paperback a couple of years ago I really struggled through the beginning and simply gave up. I've been reading some good reviews since and saw it on audible so I thought I'd give it another go and I'm so glad I did. It really does make for great listening and as one reviewer said, it's typical Gaiman, quite surreal but gripping plot, and great characters. George Guidall does a great job of narrating and using multiple voices for characters really brought the story to life for me. Definitely recommend!
I'm not really a fan of fantasy but this was enthralling, mostly. The introduction explained that this is expanded from the version first published and can I say that this isn't necessarily a great idea. There were a few episodes where a good editor with a red pencil could have done Gaiman a favour.
However this a great listen and the production with the multiple voices worked extremely well. The voice for Shadow was excellent, as were all of them. The change of voices kept my interest going through a long listen. I will be looking out for another Gaiman for my next choice.
"Like listening to a play... a really good one."
This is a fantastic audio of a very complex book. By far the richest of all the audiobooks I have downloaded, the use of multiple voices to tell the story not only brings out the characters in much more vivid colour than if simply narrated by one person, but there is a real sense of the narrators doing their homework on the characters. Shadow is a tricky character to empathise with or like, but here he is given real depth and for the first time I really liked him as he is made a bit more human than in my previous readings of the book. All the other voices are exactly how I might have imagined the characters talking, and they have a full range of accents and inflection that make them seem very real...Wednesday's gruff rasp is probably the best, but there are simply dozens of characters who leap off the page (so to speak) and are instantly recognizable when they reappear later on.
Neil Gaiman narrates the 'Coming to America' sections and has a lovely storytelling ability that provides a contrast to the other sections. He also provides a commentary that bookends the story and rounds it all out beautifully.
This is brilliant value for over 20 hours of what feels like a very well-acted play. You will be completely immersed in Gaiman's weird and wonderful world and you will miss it when it's finished.
"A fantastic piece of storytelling"
Neil Gaiman has created a fascinating story of gods existing in America, a story that was written by the author whilst he traveled across the country, it is a excellent tale and I would recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed his other works. It is a tale for adults and not for children, the book is really well narrated and with the author narrating some short stories throughout. This is a anniversary edition so longer than the original release. I really enjoyed the book and have listened to it twice now.
A rather unusual story but I had to keep listening. Very interesting and highly recommended. Very well read also.
"The Best of the best"
American Gods is probably my favourite Neil Gaiman book & considering the calibre of stories that he has under his belt it wasn't really an easy decision - but the story is awesome; the characters are amazing & the main character practises prestidigitation what's not to like. Mr Gaiman says he wasn't sure whether it was Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror and I love the fact that it won awards in each category (Proving that no one else could figure it out either)
I must admit that I was sceptical when I learned that each character was voiced by a different actor, I envisioned bad transitions and jerkyness that would ruin the story; whilst there is a definite transition between the voices it doesn't detract from the story in the slightest. I love the voice artist they used for Shadow & Wednesday (& I supposed all of the characters)
The fact that Neil Gaiman reads the "Coming to America" Segments was just pure gravy.
If you only ever ready one Neil Gaiman book; make sure this is the one
"Great invention, but lacking in plot"
American Gods is typical Gaiman - odyssey like, intriguingly and magically inventive with minutely realised worlds, but lacking a little something in terms of plot. Shadow's story takes him on a tour o fout of the way America and through thousands of years of religious history...but not much happens. His is still a great read, don't get me wrong, the world of American gods is fascinating - but I can't help wondering if Gaiman couldn't have done more with his wonderful characters in this novel.
I listened to this driving over a number of long winter nights it is a dark and beautiful story, wonderfully read.
An incredible journey. Sprawling adventure that bring together the old countries and America. This book need time set aside to be heard, not for listening in parts. The characters are well developed, many are likeable and some you will loath. Shadow dances between old and new gods. Neil Paints masterpieces, unlike boy wizards author’s works with crayon!
This is the second book I tried of Neil Gaimann after I completed Neverwhere(highly recommended), I felt American Gods very disappointing. The book is too long to keep someone interested in the plot. The so many gods, some of them who dont have any purpose in the plot, makes things worse.
Not a great read.
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