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Publisher's Summary

Now a STARZ® Original Series produced by FremantleMedia North America, starring Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, and Pablo Schreiber.

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the 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 a 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. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies . . . and 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.

©2015 FreemantleMedia North America. All rights reserved. Artwork © Starz Entertainment, L.L.C. Starz and related services marks are the property of Starz Entertainment, L.L.C. (P)2001 HarperCollinsPublishers Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Hugo Award Winner, Best Novel, 2002
  • Nebula Award Winner, Best Novel, 2002

"Brilliant dialogue and profound insights into American consciousness show Gaiman to be a visionary and a master wordsmith." (AudioFile)
"Neil Gaiman enters Stephen King territory...with American Gods." (New York Post)
"A crackerjack suspense yarn...juicily original...Wagnerian noir." (Salon.com)
"By turns thoughtful, hilarious, disturbing, uplifting, horrifying and enjoyable, and sometimes all at once." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    4,369
  • 4 Stars
    2,170
  • 3 Stars
    1,053
  • 2 Stars
    435
  • 1 Stars
    343

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,306
  • 4 Stars
    1,164
  • 3 Stars
    400
  • 2 Stars
    101
  • 1 Stars
    81

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,972
  • 4 Stars
    1,162
  • 3 Stars
    562
  • 2 Stars
    216
  • 1 Stars
    165
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Shelley
  • North Saanich, BC, Canada
  • 11-20-11

Poor description

I did not enjoy this book. The description did not really match the book. I would not have chosen it if I had known how much fantasy was in it. The story is also hard to follow.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Keeps, going, and going, and going, and going....

Awful, just awful. Rambling, pointless, confusing, and generally boring. Even George Guidall's superior narration could not save this snoozer. After 8 excruciating, mind numbing hours of trying to stay focused on this book, I finally accepted two facts. First, nothing of any interest was going to happen in the story and second, that there was not one character about which I cared in the least. I turned it off, mourned my wasted credit, and moved on!

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  • Josh
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 11-08-11

This book was entertaining and informative.

Neil Gaiman is an excellent author, and he was able to portray human begins supernatural trends as they change their "gods." From those of the old, to those of the new. Of course, now as we leave the age of darkness and enter the age of reason, more people are shedding of their supernatural beliefs and focusing on the real world. However, they replace these supernatural beings with tv's, credit cards, etc. While they may not be worshiped quiet the same way, they are still exalted like the imaginary gods of the olden days.

Plus:
George Guidall is one of my favorite narrators.

  • Overall
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  • Story

Couldn't get into this book.

This book always seems to show up when lists of classic horror or fantasy books are made. I decided to give it a try based on the high reviews it always seems to get, plus I really enjoyed the narration of Gorge Guidall on Steven King's Dark Tower books.

Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into this book. Right from the beginning the main character of the book, and the story itself just wasn't appealing. I kept listening hoping things would start to make sense, or at least become interesting, but it didn't. Can't say I cared much for Guidall's reading either.

This could be a case of me just not liking what seems to be a likable story to many others. As I said, I have liked Guidall on other books, and this book seems to be considered a classic book. It just wasn't for me.

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  • Mark
  • Aurora, IL, United States
  • 10-22-11

Clever Story, Clear characters

Narrator does a great job of voicing the wide collection of characters involved in this compelling story, such that the voice alone lets you know who is speaking, even in a multi-participant dialogue. The story is great and it' one of those stories that leaves you wondering if some recent news event wasn't related to the alternative reality this story created.

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  • saenyc
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 09-12-11

A fascinating and entertaining ride.

Ambitious, clever, funny, sad, enthralling, depressing, flawed and ultimately masterful, American Gods deserves the enormous praise and following that it has found. It is epic in story and scope and filled with characters that you will be thinking about and puzzling over for a long time to come. While I see there's a new 10th Anniversary edition, with a larger cast, I can not fathom how anyone can capture the nuance, pathos, mirth and malice nearly half as well as George Guidall.

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  • Performance
  • Story

Enthralling post modern fantasy

Waves of immigrants brought their Gods to America ??? while their belief, sometimes weak, sustains the old gods ??? the new gods of the thriving continent jostle for power. The central character, Shadow begins his journey as he is released from prison and recruited by a particularly arch and mysterious god.

Neil Gaiman???s fantasy is an imaginative tour-de-force at turns macabre, dark, violent, sad. The plot twists and turns, weaving real life locations and nuggets of Americana into the story. There???s a serial abduction mystery in there too. His cast of characters is huge and entertaining.

It???s about love, loss, and redemption. As usual, Gaiman conjures weird locations and creepy situations.
The audio is well read ??? at times it???s tricky to follow the plot due to the shear variety of characters from various pantheons and geographies.

The plot develops very slowly ??? the first half drags a little and it???s not as good as Neverwhere which is more polished and enthralling ??? but if you like fantastical backgrounds, writhing plots, and a rich mix of people, places and creatures this one???s for you.

  • Overall

Weird

The book is based on a novel idea, but it is just plain weird. I love this narrator, but I wish I had not taken the time to listen to the book. Wonder why almost all of the beginning reviews are very positive, and the ending reviews are negative.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jo Green
  • Cordova, TN, United States
  • 08-04-11

One of my favorites

I just listened to this again during another Neil Gaiman binge. I love this book. Mr. Gaiman is an incredible story teller. George Guidall is a masterful narrator. This is a book I will read again frequently. I enjoyed the interview included at the end.

  • Overall

Amazing Book, Good Audiobook

The story itself is pure genius and if you don't already read Neil Gaiman, start! However, the format of the book didn't translate perfectly into audiobook. The narration was wonderful and the characters truly came alive, but the book is filled with vignettes and quotes, which tend to get blurred into the rest of the story. I'm sure that on a written page, the visual cues would have been enough, but there weren't any audible cues that you were listening to a vignette or a quote -- which was often confusing! Still, I loved the story and think it is wonderful, I just wish they'd given more thought to the audio version.