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
The full cast performance was a work of art. It made determining who was speaking easy, the story more compelling and enjoyable. Having Neil do part of the narrating was a great decision, his voice was just the right understated English accent that it needed to bring his delight in the material to light.
I love to read, but I also love movies. The way it was presented made it a grand mashup of two media.
The climax about made me cry.
Excellent performances, so essential when you are listening to a story but your eyes are still distracted by what goes on around you.
Engrossing characters, and effective use of the cultural images that we are not always aware of lurking in our brain. And I LIKE the idea of roadside attractions as seats of sacred power, the ultimate reason for a road trip.
There were so many actors that made up the narration of this book, all excellent, with distinctive voices that painted the characters for me.
No extremes other than a deep satisfaction.
Tell us about yourself!
the reading made what was already a great story - amazing. Was sorry when it ended. Would reccommend it to anyone who loves to imagine what what happen if everything was exactly as it seems.
The narrator and supporting cast really made the story.
I am always surprised when a really good crew can give that extra layer that you cant get from a book.
If it was the only game in town....
A complete and satisfying story with a very complex structure, yet it was told and written with simplistic beauty. The characters are strong, multidimensional, & necessary they are all connected yet still individuals. The themes & symbols are seamlessly woven together. The timing of reveals and reversals made the book's pace perfect. The book's meandering plot was good, sometimes it was a bit much but the pay-offs made it all the better. The setting was amazing the use of Midwest American towns and their little gems is truly original. Overall, this is a masterful story of a hero's journey.
Things some people may not like:
There is gore, sex (one scene with homosexuals), and cursing in the book, although I thought Gaiman described them tastefully (as tastefully as one can, it could have been a lot worse). I found the use of these things necessary to present a true representation of the story world.
I've never read Gaiman before and I found this story to be a great introduction. I will read more from him and recommend his books to friends.
I loved this book mostly because of the comments made by the author. While listening I thought at times, "How dare he write this book!" And then Gaiman commented on that very thing at the end. He also commented on how some Americans criticized him for including some aspects of America and not others. I loved the inclusion of Rock City. I only wished he included other campy/quirky sites and ideas of Americana like the world's largest ball of string, South of the Border, the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, etc. But I can't complain too much since he mentioned the mermaids of Weeki Wachee! It just would have been more fun if he included more of our country's quirkiness, but I can't blame him since this is a large country. This is the first Gaiman novel I've read and if you're a little off like, I guess, I am you will enjoy this book too.
"American Gods" was absorbing and entertaining, keeping me company through long winter walks. The plot defied predictability. Was the result going to be insight or Armageddon?
The novel is structured as a roadtrip, in which the protagonist Shadow is introduced to the "old" gods, who are being recruited by his boss Mr. Wednesday to fight one last fight to regain their position at the center of American worship. Each stop is full of American folklore, tall tales, and petty criminal inventiveness. There is enough action to keep us entertained without devolving into meaningless car chases or bloody shoot-outs.
Gaiman's writing is vivid. Although the full-cast production was nice, occasionally the switching of voices for "he said" phrases disrupts the flow. Gaiman's writing is so clear that an excellent single narrator might have conveyed the story just as well.
As many have said before me, this book transcends genre -- it's a literary classic.
As this is an ensemble performance by a full cast of voice actors, it's going to be a bit different than the audiobooks you are used to. While I can listen to Neil Gaiman read his own work - or anyone's - for days, this full-cast experiment succeeds spectacularly. While all of the cast is at least fine - except Laura, I was never sold on her - I think the performer who read the character of Wednesday delivered like no other. He brought tones of aged wisdom and humor to an old Norse god making his living as a grifter in the New World. Oh - by the way - Gaiman does skilfully narrate a series of "coming to America" mini-stories, which make up a not insubstantial portion of the novel.
As far as the story goes, I can't believe that any person possessed of an imagination would not find Gaiman's work enrapturing. He is one of those rare talents who can craft wonderful story, with engaging characters, and express these with an elegance that blurs the line between prose and poetry. Give it a listen; you won't be disappointed.
Yes. The cast did a wonderful job with their parts, and mr. gaiman writes amazing stories.
I loved the full cast. It made the story come alive, brought a feeling of a real world behind the story. Reminded me of the radio dramas.
Epic, meandering, obscene, touching, a real american novel.
This is an incredible book, read wonderfully, and really captures the spirit of our country. It is not for everyone though, as it can be obscene and while the long divergences set a strong history, some would get annoyed by the sidetracks
“Never laugh at live dragons.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien
This is the third book of Neil Gaiman's I have listened to. I found this story line more than a little weird. Fortunately I enjoy odd books. There were a couple of interludes that were more graphic than I would have liked but overall I give the storyline 4 out of 5.
The Narration on the other hand was great! Outstanding! Daniel Oreskes is now my favorite narrator. I want more! His voice gives me chills. And Ron Mclarty's scruffy...okay, I'm not good with adjectives describing the textures of a voice. So I'll just say they're great and I give it a 10 out of 10. Great performance! This alone is worth the listen.
Neil Gaiman's writing is masterful. He has a way of taking familiar things and turning them on their ear. Not only is the novel itself a good one, but this new audio version of the book makes the original story even better, with a full cast reading the book (and Neil reading parts before and after the main story. Neil is one author with a great voice, so it would have been good if he read the whole thing himself, but the full cast really adds something. Trust me, you'll enjoy it!
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