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)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
"Gaiman is a treasure house of story and we are lucky to have him." (Stephen King)
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"So much hype. So little substance."
I am sure Neil Gaiman will not lose any sleep over my not liking his book. Neil Gaiman has great ambition in terms of his story but he is not up to scratch as a novelist. The prose was utterly style-less.
It wasn't a question of performance.
It is full of big ideas but it does not deliver writing to match.
I would encourage people not to be drawn in by the awards that have been lavished on this book. Or by the perplexing fact that Gaiman was invited to publish a 'preferred text' for the tenth anniversary of this book as if it was Ulysses or something. The gap between the Artist's hubris of Gaiman in his introduction (and postscript) and the crayon-drawn characters and sixth form prose over 18 hours of book is jaw dropping.
"For a true nonbeliever, a theistic delight"
Without doubt the greatest piece of 'shared universe' writing I've ever encountered, and the best sort of rambling literature as well. A brilliant rumination on many aspects of belief, religion and folklore that seamlessly meshes various literary genres without being tied down by them. The voice performances are also commendable, especially Wednesday's, and having Gaiman narrate certain sections himself was both a clever touch and a pleasant surprise. All in all, a true delight of contemporary fiction whether read or listened to.
"Great performances and genius creativity"
Neil Gaiman's work is unrivalled in the world of fantasy and sci-if literature. American Gods is not only beautifully written with incredibly strong characters but the sub-plots, twists and turns will stay with me forever. All with an excellent voice cast and narration - a perfect audio book!
Such a good audiobook. I enjoyed every second of it. I cannot fault it in any way. The cast were all spot on for their parts, especially Shadow and Wednesday. The story was complex and interesting, with just enough breadcrumbs that you can feel proud of yourself for spotting what is going on before it is revealed. Highly recommended.
"Multidimensional Beautiful Adventure"
One of those books that leaves the reader feeling that the world will never be quite the same again. It's colourful entertainment at it's best whilst being a great work of philosophy rivalling the viking sagas.
"I love this book"
I have to admit that when I first read the paper version I found it hard going for about 50 pages - but then.... I was lost in it. Now read it once and listened to it twice. It's fantasy on a grand scale and wonderful.
I like the audio narrators and other players. Great choice of voices. I thoroughly recommend this book.
I really enjoyed the narration of the book, the voices were believable and very vivid. I adore everything by Neil Gaiman and this does not disappoint on the anthromorphic personification front, it's equal parts murder mystery, psychogeographical exploration of America, and beautiful imagery. I would recommend this book to people. especially this reading it really is great.
"Perfect Adaptation of a Wonderful Tale"
American Gods was the first unabridged audio book I ever listened to and I have to say, I feel spoiled by the experience. Instead of having a solitary narrator, the book employs an ensemble cast and almost feels like a radio play at times. It's incredibly well acted and I got through the 19 plus hour recording in far fewer days than I thought I would.
The story is as compelling as it's been since it's release in paper form (with a "As good as Stephen King or your money back!" guarantee, no less), although I believe that was a marketing gimmick. It revolves around ex-con, Shadow and his journey across an otherworldly version of America where remnants of past beliefs are fighting to survive in the face of modern times. The text is masterfully written, thought provoking and at times disturbing, which is what one would expect from the creator of the Sandman comics.
"Neil Gaiman at his best"
Of all the audiobooks I've listened to so far this is by far the best. Actually, of all the books I've read so far, this is the best.
The plot is fascinating with brilliant echoes of old Gods and mythology intertwined with new Gods based on Gaiman's brilliant insights into modern day culture.
Having listened to a number of his works, this is still by far my favourite. A must read!
"Weird and wonderful."
I love the other worldly feel of Gainman's writing. A story that pulls you in and keeps you involved.
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