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
I am always up for a good book, regardless of genre.
There is only one audiobook I liked better and that was Dracula with Alan Cumming and Tim Curry. This was an amazing production. Dennis Boutsikaris is the perfect narrator. I love how Neil Gaiman reads not only the introduction, but the interludes of Mr. Ibis' diary. The entire cast captured the characters perfectly. At times I felt like I was listening to a radio drama and not a book. Gaiman's writing is really beautiful and when it is read aloud, you can hear the beauty and you (well at least I was) are transported to wherever his pen takes you.
honestly, I can't just pick a few moments because this is one of the rare books that is solid from start to finish. My favorite part of the book is when Shadow is in the underworld. Hearing that out loud made it more powerful and moving. The murder of Wednesday also resonated, as did the meetings of the gods.
The were all spot on. As I said Dennis Boutsikaris brings the right amount of deadpan to the narration. He is almost lackadaisical about his reading, as if he wants to be doing something else, which creates an irony in that these characters are in liife and death situations. All the narrators captured their characters. Wednesday was as rasoy as I imagined. Low Key was as oily as a snake salesman. As for Shadow? Let's just say that next time I read this book I will be hearing his dialogue in that actor's voice.
Yes. There were some parts of this book that I laughed so loud, I almost woke up my sleeping family. My husband would know when I was listening to it if I was totally engaged and had a smirk on my face.
This was an amazing read and if you haven't read any Neil Gaiman, this is the book you should begin with.
The only thing that is missing is a cast listing. I knew who the narrator was (Dennis Boutsikaris has a distinctive voice) but I would have liked to know who else was involved in this audiobook, because they were all amazing and if they have done other narrations I would love to hear them.
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.
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.
Neil Gaiman's whimsical plot, rich narrative, and exquisite character development make what would otherwise be a pedestrian tale into a keeper. Gaiman says that readers tend to like the book or hate it, and I can see why. I really disliked the premise and the story to be quite honest, but I really liked Gaiman's writing style.
Philosophically the story is interesting - American culture contains a wonderful, bewildering patois of colliding cultural traditions, and at the same time the leading creator of culture in the world. Gaiman's story elucidates this cultural dialectic through a metaphor of a supernatural struggle between the many old gods brought to America in the consciousness of its immigrants and the new gods who had their beginning here.
I'm not sure I would want to change this story. Gaiman says in his author's foreword that the genre of the story is hard to place, and I agree. I'd say it belongs somewhere between fantasy and horror, neither of which genres are my ordinary cup of tea, but I enjoyed the richness and rhythm of his prose and the development of the characters.
The narrators are cast beautifully - their voice characterizations help to flesh out the already well developed characters.
This book stands on its own - a follow up isn't needed, nor do I think it would be even possible. That said, I could easily envision a podcasted panel discussion of the philosophical and cultural metaphors in American Gods and how they relate to actual cultural dynamics.
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
Gaiman is one of those authors for who I simply buy the hardbound when it comes out and I read and re-read these over the years. I was thrilled to find this revised production version of it on Audible.com. I may be prejudiced but I found this audio book immaculately performed and amongst the top of the books I've listened to.
I really enjoyed the variety of narrators-with a novel this involved, a multi cast interpretation is the only way to do it justice.Yes, it's long and quite complex, especially if you've not read it previously but it's well worth the time and any effort. If you're a fan of fantasy fiction, American gods should fascinate you.
A caveat: It may take a while to get into..because it is long and as a bit convoluted, you might not be grabbed in the first chapter..Gaiman develops his novels slowly-they creep up on you. I hope readers who are unfamiliar with his work don't give up right away..this book is a synopsis of past gods and goddesses from our ancestors and their plight in the world of technology.
For me, this is a book thats worth reading, and re reading again-I know I'll be listening again in a couple of years.
My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.
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 version was an extreme letdown after having listened to the audiobook narrated by George Guidall numerous times. The reading is rushed and flat. None of the readers actually give any personality to their rolls. The inflection, too, is completely off. I was very excited to hear the alterations from the original but was unable to get past chapter three because of the poor reading. I may buy this as a physical book to find the changes but I will, for sure, go back to listening to the George Guidall version.
I originally read this in hardback. I've re-read it a few times since, and then found Mr Gaiman himself narrating it. Author-read books are a favorite. Gaiman is a favorite. The story is starkly human, deep, humorous and tragic. I do love when a fantasy author is capable of leading me gently back to my life with a better understanding of my reality through their fantasy. Gaiman does this regularly for me. Thank you, Neil, for writing, and for reading.
I was born in Wisconsin and spent every summer there until I was about 16. Many of the roadside attractions were favorite stops on the way up or on the way back home to Kansas. I vividly remember the House on the Rock on one such visit.
Growing up in Kansas the "geographical center" of the USA in Smith County was another familiar day trip.
From Chicago to Mt. Rushmore I have visited most of the places in the book and that made the story more interesting.
The premise of the story is original and compelling, a nice mix of mythology and magic from all around the world. It is the classic American melting pot told from a different point of view.
The production of the story and voice actors are excellent, making for an extremely entertaining listen.
I would highly recommend this audiobook for any listener, except possibly the children under 14..
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