The extraordinary, highly acclaimed epic novel from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.
After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But as the time until his release ticks away, he can feel a storm brewing. Two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow...more
Long answer: Throughout the novel, there was a theme of redemption and paying your debts. Laura committed the mor…more Short answer: Redemption and closure.
Long answer: Throughout the novel, there was a theme of redemption and paying your debts. Laura committed the moral crime of infidelity while Shadow was incarcerated. You could say she was given the ultimate punishment for committing her sin.
As a reanimated being, she was given a second chance at making it up to Shadow. She gained redemption by assisting Shadow in his journey. When she killed Loki/Mr. World, she completed her own journey of redemption. Now that her purpose has been fulfilled, Shadow forgave her and allowed her to go back to resting in peace, permanently.(less) (hide spoiler)]
First off, while the premise sounds inter ...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
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
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
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
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
Notes: The concept's pretty brilliant, but the plot can be slow and plodding at times and the end doesn't live up to the build.
The Written Review:
No denying that this one is a big boi. A long boi. Extra extra page boi.
But was it worth all that paper?
Click the link for my video review of the big bois in my life.
Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.The Old Gods - brought over by immigrants. Wild, fantastical tales of elephant-headed men and trickster spiders. Of power and lust. Of fear and worship.
The N ...more
This is a 2.5 to 3 star book max for me. I am pretty sure this will be my last Neil Gaiman book. I have tried two others (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch and The Ocean at the End of the Lane) and one of those was okay (Omens) and one of them I couldn't stand (Ocean).
I realize that my feelings on Gaiman and his books are contrary to popular opinion, but they are just not my cup of tea. They are slow. They seem intentionally odd and ...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 our technological world. The gods are indeed the best part of this very good book: degenerate and threadbare, yet still gods, capable of ...more
I'm sticking with my original rating, but only because the voice cast is simply amazing. If you're on the fence about this version of the book, I'd highly suggest listening to it. It's long, it rambles, and it doesn't go anywhere very interesting. The actual plot of this book could have filled 100 pages, while the other 500 pages read like a mythological travelogue of the United States. There's nothing wrong with that, and it was exactly what Gaiman set out to do. I'm just ...more
“‘I read some book about brains,’ she said. ‘My roommate had it and she kept waving it around. It was like, how five thousand years ago the lobes of the brain fused and before that people thought when the right lobe of the brain said anything it was the voice of some god telling them what to do. It’s just brains.’
‘I like my theory better,’ said Shadow.
‘What’s your theory?’
‘That back then people used to run into the gods from time to time.’”
Reading some of the reviews bears witness to this dichotomy.
I liked it, liked it a lot, but I can also understand why someone may dislike the work. Gaiman, in his storyteller way, has stepped over boundaries and stepped on toes. And not just religious or theological ideas, but nationalistic ideals as well. ...more
This book is meandering, in such a way that you can feel yourself getting lost. But, in Gaiman fashion, he has a way of tying everything up in the end (or not in some cases) in a way that was satisfying for me.
If you don't mind a character focused story with a lot of detours and LOVE mythology, you'll eat this up.
Compared to Europe, America has no mythology and hardly a history. Norse mythology can be traced back to the 13 ...more
Why do gods have to fight and die? Isn’t there enough space in people’s hearts to accommodate everyone, as in the old days? New gods and old gods, but it seems that they aren’t all powerful as such. They need the mortals to believe in them, otherwise they simply cease to exist.
I initially thought I wouldn’t write a review about Neil Gaiman’ ...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 ...more
American Gods (2001) is a fantasy novel by British author Neil Gaiman.
The novel is a blend of Americana, fantasy, and various strands of ancient and modern mythology, all centering on the mysterious and taciturn Shadow.
Shadow is an ex-convict who is released from prison three days early when his wife Laura is killed in a car accident. Shadow is devastated by her death, and is distraught to learn that she died alongside his best friend Robbie, with w ...more
Well, not read it. Listen to it.
This is the first audiobook I have ever listened to, and it is twenty hours long. This event caused me to give myself the well-earned and extremely catchy nickname “the real American God of this whole situation - get it bec ...more
Neil Gaiman is a genius. There is something magical about his writing that enwraps me every time I open the pages of his creations. Maybe it is the way he combines action, mystery, mythology, mysticism, surreal, together with life lessons and ha ...more
إن كنت مهتما بالأساطير والخرافات والأديان القديمة
والروايات الحديثة السريعة الإيقاع
فإنك ستحب هذه الرواية
"If you are to survive, you must believe."
"Believe what?" asked Shadow. "What should I believe?"
He stared at Shadow, the buffalo man, and he drew himself up huge, and his eyes filled with fire. He opened his spit-flecked buffalo mouth and it was red inside with the flames that burned inside him, under the earth.
"Everything," roared the buffalo man!
هي ملحمة خرافية ...more
In Gaiman’s story, the converse is equally true: the very existence of the gods depends on the affairs of mankind, specifically, that people believe in them. Like mortals, they need to be loved.
Gods from cultures around the world travelled to the US in the minds of immigrants. The indigenous people already had their own gods, and now (2001) there are new gods as well: internet, capitalism, media etc. In a mater ...more
Conversations with friends are NOT replaceable.
But at least it prompted me to start the long-overdue re-read.
This book is long and epic. It slowly meanders through strange places and events, with nothing coming together to form a coheren ...more
Overall, this is a harder book than I remembered. So much harder (as in, harder-edged) and more thoughtful than I remember, both. It's not as twisty/turny surprise-y as it was when I read it last time, but it more than makes up for it with the new thematic things I have the headspace to think about. There's so much ...more
Other books in the series
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.”