First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now, discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this 10th anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author's preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.
A storm is coming....
Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow's best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.
Life as Wednesday's bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. It is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own.
Along the way, Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a storm is brewing - an epic war for the very soul of America - and that he is standing squarely in its path.
Relevant and prescient, American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of "mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose" (Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that "distills the essence of America" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.
©2011 Neil Gaiman (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
A fantastic read that still has me thinking about it months later. You may need a second listen just to make sure you didn't miss anything. A truly great novel
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
Both versions have their own merits. I enjoyed both greatly.
Pretty much any scene with Odin. he steals the show frequently.
he adds emotional content and helps flesh out characters better than just reading the book.
Yes, but it is too long for that.
This one is a classic and should not be missed.
Likes to listen while doing chores; likes to write reviews while he should be doing chores.
It's going to be tough going back to single narrator audiobooks after this one. Bravo to those involved with making this full cast production. Just very well done.
The story for this book was good and engaging. It had an interesting set of characters that were well told and well voiced. The contrast of god-driven mystical events taking place on drab parts of the American landscape was dramatic and even a little unnerving. It gave you this feeling that you might walk into a public restroom in a rest stop to find two guys discussing whether or not to have another biblical flood.
One major detraction the book could have done without is Gaiman's pretext of throwing sunlight onto a piece of the American soul. It strikes me as a bit shallow. It is perhaps a necessary condition that an author of foreign origin would focus on the things that make Americans different. In this case, Gaiman uses midwestern roadside attractions as settings because of the immanent power of those sites. This focus on the sideshows causes him to miss the real attraction I think. I wouldn't try to make a profound statement about the English by making a survey of Morris dances, just as the world's largest ball of twine tells you little about America.
It's too bad that he used those settings as an overlay (and I use "overlay" instead of "backdrop" intentionally) for this story, because it cheapens it a bit. I actually quite admired his treatment of American heroes and legends. The interplay of immigrant and native gods was relevant and insightful.
This is a good introductory book to Neil Gaiman that contains a Full Cast helping to bring all the characters to life. The book begins with Shadow being released from prison and he soon meets a man named Mr. Wednesday who offers him a job as his bodyguard. Mr. Wednesday is more then he appears as Shadow finds out he is living in a world where all the old gods and even new ones exists. So join Shadow as he rediscovers the world he thought he knew.
American Gods has won many awards including two of the biggest:
Hugo and Nebula
Neil Gaiman has also started writing the sequel to American Gods and it is rumored to focus on the New Gods.
With a full cast it was easy to find the personalities of all the characters and to follow the action.
Whiskey Jack and Horus due to their humor and complete disregard for convention
Sam Blackhawk had a necessary youth but worldliness to her a well nuanced performance
American Gods: Faith is a Con
Neil Gaimon's first novel is a fine work steeped in mythology and twisted history. A circular vision reminiscent of the layered worlds he wrote about in his Sandman Graphic Novels. This novels only draw back is it tries to be something for everyone; a heist story, a buddy road trip, a mystery and an adventure all the while embroiled in obscure mythologies most of us will have to use wikipedia to fully understand. (I suggest you do this as it really illuminates several of the characters.) IF there had been a singular focus I believe the story would have been more compelling. I did laugh that there was a true denouement, an epilogue, a post script and an appendix. It reminded me of the master works of composers such as Beethoven who would write in false cadenzas to their works leading the listener to think the ending was imminent only to have the cadenza end unresolved and flurry into another cadence. American careens to an ending only to find us moving directly into an unexpected and unresolved portion of the narrative and then does it again. A unique structure that is not unwelcome.
Do you read the book before you dislike my reviews?
I've always wanted to read American Gods, but I never got around to it. So, I just figured that I would just listen to the Tenth Anniversary Edition, since it is much longer than the original. Although the story is good and Neil Gaiman is a genus with his commentary, I should had read the original first to know what was added to the new edition. I would had understood the story better and it's characters. When Stephen King first published The Stand in 1978, he needed to edited the book down to fit on one binding. Over a decade later, in 1990, he decided to published the extended version of the same book. From a reader that read both version, I can appreciate both Stands. I want to read the first edition of American Gods to learn what I'm missing.
slightly less than that. A three, I suppose, which averages out to a four. I love the story and the narrators do an OK job. OK, not great. Some of them sound robotic and unpersonable but some of them do very good.
I was dissapointed in that it's called a full cast audio book but it's really not. There are only a few voice actors reading a story with many, many, many amazing characters.
If you've never read American Gods or never listened to it, you should know that it is a slow book and the protagonist doesn't actively want anything. He's called Shadow and it suits his personality. Many readers/listeners get frustrated with this but I found it to be a great way to approach the story told.
It's an amazing story if you're into dark fantasy, mythology or post modernist writing.
This is an extraordinary production of an extraordinary book. Listening was an experience I knew would have to end, but I wished it would not. Shadow, Laura, Wednesday, Sam, and Czernobog were especially memorable, but what impressed me most were the minor characters, each pitch-perfect. The weakest link was perhaps the narrator, but he was fine, just not perhaps what might be hoped. Neil Gaiman's own participation on Coming to America segments and supplementary material was especially welcome. Listen, and perhaps, just a bit, believe.
Like the previous reviewer, I say stick with the George Guidall recording of the original release. Mr. Guidall did such a fabulous, iconic job that even now, years after first listening to American Gods, I still have trouble accepting his narration of any other novel: I just hear Shadow.
But this version of American Gods has bigger problems than just not living up to the original. Mainly, I just don't feel like the actors breathe any life into their roles, so that the transition between speakers is jarring rather than natural. (Caveat: I almost always have this complaint with full cast recordings.) Most of the actors don't have a lot of inflection in their voices. The only exception is Laura, who is described as speaking in a monotone. Laura is brimming with expression! (Go figure, right?) Many of the gods speak in bad and inconsistent accents--while mispronouncing words in "their" native languages.
Here I take issue with the producers, who didn't do enough research to make sure their actors were pronouncing those foreign words correctly. I'm nowhere near fluent in Russian, but I know that it should be "Zorya PoluNOCHnaya" not "Zorya PolunochNAYa." It's DEDushka, not dedUSHka.Every time I hear a mispronounced word, it throws me out of the story.
The story itself is great--I'm a big fan of American Gods, and I was really looking forward to this expanded edition. But after this one listen, I'm going back to the original.
You know, I bet Mr. Guidall mispronounced some of those same Russian words. But I don't remember them.
I love to read books; and now just recently I've discovered that audio books are very cool!! I'm also an author. You can find the SciFi book "The Curse of Europa" here on Audible or on Amazon.
The previous book I listened to took me about six months to get through as it just didn't beckon me to listen at any chance I could get. I would listen here and there but many times music on the radio won out.
Not with this book!!
Gaiman hooked me right away and I wanted to listen every chance I could get. American Gods was only a tad shorter than my previous book, but I whipped through this one in about 10 days (and I mainly listen in my car and during workouts.) But I did add a few hours here and there with longer lunches or listening while doing dishes, etc.
I'm usually more a SciFi guy vs. Fantasy, but I've likes all of Neil Gaiman's book that I've read so far.
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