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Preview — American Gods by Neil Gaiman
American Gods (American Gods #1)
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 ...more
Popular Answered Questions
Laura was a type of demi-god in life, and was fully deified after her death through shadows reverence of her, but fell and became a shattered version of herself, just like all the other deities. A human being can be the inspiration for a god; the same way jesus christ is viewed as the mortal version of the almighty himself in christianity.(less)
Much like any Neil Gaiman story, the devil is in the details, and you just have to resolve yourself to coming along for the ride or you'll miss it. It's not one story, or two, it's many, and it's all complete...and you have to just read it, ...more
In fact, I had three big problems with this book. (I'm vague at times to avoid spoilers.)
First, his characters are so emotionally detached that I can't care about them. I've read stories where emotional detachment is done well, in a way where you feel pain or pity or something for the character, but this was just... hollow. I felt nothing ...more
This was my reality:
I believed with all my being that the things depicted above were real, and were just over the event horizon.
Leaving meant losing almost every friend I had ever made since childhood, it created a rift with my still devout family, and quite possibly saved my life.
Is it any wonder that fiction – alternate realities, fa ...more
"It's a god-eat-god world." This quote by Sir Terry Pratchett, another amazing British writer, perfectly summarizes the surface plot of the intimidating bulk of American Gods.
"It's what people do. They believe, and then they do not take responsibility for their...more
This book has all the elements of a book I would enjoy. The creepiness factor is up there, the writing is brilliant, the main character is a big lug I couldn't help but love. Also, I have always been fascinated by mythology, so ...more
I remember reading it back in 2002 or so. This was back in the day. Back when it was a bit of a secret that Gaiman lived in Wisconsin.
I read the following section of the book nodding to myself, thinking, "Yup, that's exactly what it's like."
Then I had another thought: "I bet this comes from that really bad cold snap we had here in Wisconsin about six years ago."
It was prett ...more
Well, I've read Gaiman now.
Let me quote:
"American Gods is Neil Gaiman's best and most ambitious novel yet, a scary, strange, and hallucinogenic road-trip story wrapped around a deep examination of the American spirit."
I agree with everything but the beginning a ...more
My literary promiscuity being what it is, I have read and loved a lot of novels in many different genres. However, among the beau coup books that I have loved long time there are a select few that hold a special, hallowed place in my pantheon of favorites…American Gods is one of these elite.
Gaiman’s writing is both subdued and poetic. It is deeply emotional, but without a hint of melodrama. His descriptions are elaborate yet not drawn out. He tells a huge, complex, eternal story, one small tal ...more
Belief without blood only takes us so far. The blood must flow.
This is no country for old gods. I drank the mead and surrendered to the power of dream logic of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods,” which is a highly imaginative and well written novel that tells of how a diaspora of ancient gods organizes itself for battle against the new American gods of commerce and media. The paradigms are shifting, and gods have problems, too. Now I know.
The United States ...more
First off, while the premise sounds inter ...more
I'll start with the idea: I will not claim that the ultimate idea behind this book is particularly novel: the battle of the old ways and the new for the souls of the future, the mixed blessing that is "progress", what we leave behind, and what we learn. These are staples of the fantasy genre. However, his twis ...more
This was on my to read list and given I’ve never heard of the guy before it must have been recommended to me by someone. No idea who, though. It is a little surprising that when I looked no one I knew had reviewed this book. What had inspired me to read it is lost now.
A friend of mine wrote to me last week about her son’s interest in magic tricks – now, that must be the first time in years that I’ve thought about magic at all. So, when this one started and ...more
this book is one of the most creative descriptions of my own understanding of theology. gods do not exist on some eternal plane, but they rise and fall with the cultures and peoples who support and worship them. these gods have avatars in many different places--they are not a single entity but many that are called by the same name. mythologies can be more true than reality. and it's a good warning about how careful we should be ...more
American Gods is one of the quirkiest books on American culture and belief that I've read. Told from the perspective of a particularly insightful non ...more
In this unique love letter to the United States, Gaiman manages to celebrate its underground spiritual traditions, glory in the magnificence of its landmarks, landscapes, and bizarre tourist traps, and--most important--both mourn and venerate its pagan (often immigrant) gods in decline, battered and diminished though they may be by the shallowness and speed of a technological world. The gods are indeed the best part of this very good book: they are degenerate and threadbare, and yet still gods, ...more
I can't say this is one I would recommend to everyone, and I certainly won't be shoving it down people's throats.
But I liked it.
Now, somehow I ended up with the extended 10 year anniversary edition. So, maybe that's why it took me forever to finish this. But I don't think that was entirely the issue. It's just a loooong fuckin' book. And not much happens in it action-wise, so you're not exactly flipping the pages with any intensity.
There's not even really (in my opinion) ...more
The American Gods/gods, like the many peoples they accompanied, arrived on this continent over the past hundreds, thousands of years. And like average people, these gods assimilated in ways large and small into their environment, some losing parts of themselves, some holding on to traces of past glory in different ways and forms. As the people assimilated their beliefs often weakened too affecting their old gods.
But change has come. Major change in the form of new belief ...more
Here is my FAVORITE excerpt from the book, a little long, but SOOO worth reading. This ...more
I’ve never read an urban fantasy novel that just so completely swept me away like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods has. Even months after, the sheer . . . . . . mind boggling nature of the tale he weaves in an addictively charming style remains one of the very best books I’ve ever read.
Shadow’s looking forward to finally getting out of jail wh ...more
So with no great expectations I began the epic journey/road trip of American Gods
This book knocked me on my ass. I never knew where this story was taking me with a cast of fantastic characters led by a Mr. Wednesday. Mr. Wednesd ...more
This started out very good, and then stalled out. A man named Shadow is released from prison after 3 years, only to find his wife has been killed in a car accident while having sex with one of his friends. Ok, I can roll with that. What ...more
I've decided to shelve it and maybe wait a few years to see if I actually do care enough to find out what happens next (like China Melveille's Perdido Street Station, which I shelved a mere 20 pages or so from the ending).
Gaiman surely is a talented writer. I'm not criticising him. I admire and respect his imagination and his brain, and his writing is easy to read.
What I don't like about American Gods is the emotional detachment of the main cha ...more
Its been a long while since the last time I read a fantasy-themed book. This bro ...more
I have been a huge fan of Neil Gaiman’s works for many years and some of my favorite works done by Neil Gaiman included Coraline and the “Sandman” series. So, when I heard that Neil Gaiman was writing some books for older teens and adults, I just had to check them out and that is where I found “American Gods!” “American Gods” has wo ...more
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I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen - I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women.
I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state.
I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste.
I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds.
I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman.
I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself.
I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.
I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too.
I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system.
I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”