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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It was great to have a number of voices reading the text, very much brought it alive.
I quite liked the uncertainty about who the Gods were and how the relationships developed. It hade something new going on most of the time.
"love the book it's just great"
love the book all over again with this adidtion it's easy better than the original
"Gripping and thought provoking"
Really enjoyed this audible version of American Gods. The narration was good and the characters and story line engaging. Only when I got to the "out takes" epilogue did I think it would have been good to have that character discussed as I would have thought they'd have been the most successful in America. But I can understand it may have distracted from the story. Overall really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend.
"This heading isn't optional at all"
This dragged. A crime caper that meandered into fantasy territory. The characters are uninspired and I didn't care for where they all ended up! Sorry Gaiman fans!
great story from an incredible author. performances are superb throughout and the whole experience is incredibly difficult to unplug from... it's almost as though I have no choice.
"A captivating story, beautifully read"
This was the first Neil Gaiman story I had listened to or read and i was hooked. I listened to it whilst running and the actors/readers really drew me in. I was in another world on my runs. It was a fantastic performance, which made the story very real. I also liked the way in which some chapters were read by Neil himself. It really worked with the story.
I've since listened to The Graveyard book, which was also very good, but this remains my favourite.
"phenomenal story incredibly written "
phenomenal story incredibly easy to read and so superbly written and performed l. a must listen
"Not as fantastic as I would have hoped"
American Gods is one of those novels that has a huge fan-following and is very well thought of amongst Neil Gaiman fans. I had long been curious of it and, when I saw the tenth anniversary edition, with a full cast of narrators, I had to give it a go.
There’s a part of me that is happy I did and an equally-sized part of me that wishes I hadn’t. As enjoyable as parts of the book were, I feel they weren’t enjoyable due to the story, more so because they happened away from it. In fact, most of the enjoyable moments came outside of the main story arc. When Shadow spends time with each of the Gods he meets along his journey through America, his getting to know them and those around them, are thoroughly enjoyable and very interesting. Sadly, I feel the overall story lacks excitement or interest.
I say that purely because it doesn’t feel like American Gods is a complete story that knows what it wants to be. It feels more like a jumble of stories that all seem to happen to, or around, the same character (Shadow). Neil Gaiman does tie up all of these various threads near the end of book but, if truth be told, some of them didn’t feel like major plot points to me. They just felt like something that was happening in the backdrop of Shadow’s America.
Gaiman does a good job of writing interesting and loveable (some detestable, but that’s the point in cases) characters. As I eluded to earlier, if the characters weren’t so good, so well fleshed-out, I honestly think the whole thing would be sub-par.
My major complaint, and I will try to do this in as gentle and spoiler-free a way as possible, is the end. The entire book makes the reader/listener think he/she will be treated to a huge, cataclysmic event of epic proportions. As it stands, the book sort of ends on a confused whimper instead. I found the epilogue more entertaining than the final chapter.
Reading back over my review, I feel that I am perhaps being a bit too harsh. I think some of my annoyance was due to the slow, ponderous pace of either the book or the narration, I can’t be sure which. The character narrations were wonderful (some of the women seemed to have the same voice, which was a tad annoying, but that is only a minor gripe), it’s simply the main narrative that had a bit of a lacklustre feel. I thought the narrator’s voice was wonderful, it was just the pacing was slower than I would have liked.
As a whole, I think it’s one of those books that quite simply has to be experienced so that you can get your own feel for it. I read numerous rave reviews and an equal number of negative reviews. I can honestly say that neither was it as good as the reviews suggested, or as bad as some of the others claimed it to be. It was simply ‘enjoyable’. Although, I will say that it took me a lot longer than most audiobooks to get through of a similar length.
"Don't know if it can be topped."
Why choose this as your first book on Audible?
This was my first choice for an audio book because mainly I loved Sandman as well as Gaiman's other works and was interested in what made this so special as to be made in to a TV show before it comes out. Well I can see know why this book is so highly regarded as I've finished what I believe will be the best audio book I will ever listen to. The narrator does a great job of descriptions between the excellent dialogue delivered by a cast of great voice actors. Each character expressed so much just in their tone of voice and delivery of every word that the TV show will be challenged to meet. The style of story (based on religion in a way that bends everything about its source material) that things such as Sandman, Lucifer, Preacher, Constantine and many other all pull off so well is personally one of my favourite genres in any form of story telling and I believe that American Gods is the perfect example of why. I look very forward to seeing this fantastic story told on the small screen next year and trust that the show runners will do a good job based on what I have seen and heard so far.
"Brilliant story, Top notch voice performance."
Normally listen to these while working, but was so good I didn't want to put it down when my holidays came up. very good book :)
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