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 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!
The only good thing about this confusing stream of consciousness was the voice of Shadow. Probably because he sounds just like Vin Diesel.
Possibly, in a few years. I wouldn't normally re-read/listen to a book, but there are a few that I would go back to. This would be one. Now that I know the story, I think I would pickup more details by listening again. There are a lot of twists and turns that might come to light with a second reading.
Shadow, of course! It is Shadow that we follow through all the scenes and almost always is the one interacting with each of the other characters. I did like Sam and hoped she would turn out to be good for Shadow. And although freaky, Laura was interesting as she came and went in Shadows life.
I don't think it was extreme, but it did make me laugh, cry, gag, and sometimes think WTF?
This would be a decent book if edited and cut in half. It is very tiresome and tedious in spots. While the "voices" and performance are top-notch, the story itself waxes and wanes between engaging and boringly tedious. Perhaps one of the worst aspects is that none of the characters are particularly likeable, and so the reader doesn't care a whole lot what happens to them. The treatment of women by Wednesday is especially vulgar and distasteful as he is an old coot who essentially mesmerizes young girls into one-night stands. The book is really just way too long for its content.
American Gods brought to life a brilliant view of beliefs, religions, superstitions and mythology and managed to present it all in a way that was creative, engaging, and one of the best stories i've heard in a long time. the cast did a great job and complimented the story in every way! Gaiman is a genius!!!!!
No I haven't, but I'd be happy to listen to more productions from this cast. i listen to a lot of books and these voices were pleasant and read the parts well. Shadows performance was amazing!
definitely made me laugh at times : ) and made me think... a lot!!
i listened to 'Anansi Boys' first and the two books go hand in hand. i also highly recommend Gaiman's reading list and his other writings!
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