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American Gods (French) Paperback – 17 Sep 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Editions 84 (17 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 2290088390
  • ISBN-13: 978-2290088395
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.6 x 11.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (341 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 759,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Neil Gaiman is a tour de force of creative talent. He is the bestselling author of Coraline and Stardust, both of which are major motion films. Neil also co-wrote the script for Beowulf starring Anthony Hopkins and Angeline Jolie. He is the creator/writer of the award-winning Sandman comic series and has written several books for children. His latest title, The Graveyard Book, won the Teenage Booktrust Prize 2009. Neil has been immortalised in song by Tori Amos, and is a songwriter himself. His official website now has more than one million unique visitors each month, and his online journal is syndicated to thousands of blog readers every day.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Within just a few pages of Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods, he commandingly reveals that he is at his considerable best with this disturbing and dark journey into the hidden soul of America. Gaiman, one of the most talented and imaginative writers at work today, achieved nigh-legendary status with his comic Sandman, which took the genre to heights that even the equally talented Alan Moore had not attained; Gaiman's subsequent career as a novelist has displayed the same glittering inventiveness and exquisite use of language.

Gaiman's protagonist Shadow has patiently done his time in prison. But as the moment of his release approaches, he begins to sense that some unnamed disaster is lying in wait for him. As he makes his way home, he encounters the mysterious Mr Wednesday, who appears to be both a refugee from a distant country at war and the King of America. And perhaps even a god. As Shadow and Mr Wednesday begin a bizarre odyssey across the United States, solving murders is only one of their accomplishments. With an epic storm of supernatural origin brewing, one questions whether they will be destroyed before Shadow pays the price for grim mistakes in his past.

The use of language here is impeccable, and it is wedded to a surreal narrative that brings out the most quirky and unsettling aspects of Gaiman's imagination. Forget Gaiman the Guru: just enjoy Gaiman the consummate writer:

He opened his mouth to catch the rain as it fell, moistening his cracked lips and his dry tongue, wetting the ropes that bound him to the trunk of the tree. There was a flash of lightning so bright it fell like a blow to his eyes, transforming the world into an intense panorama of image and after-image. The wind tugged at Shadow, trying to pull him from the tree, flaying him, cutting to the bone. Shadow knew in his soul that the real storm had truly begun...
--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A very fine and imaginative writer (The Times)

'Gaiman has a rich imagination...and an ability to tackle large themes' (Philip Pullman) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This is a story about ancient gods and their struggle to survive in a world where their fickle worshippers have abandoned them in favour of advertisements, technology and consumerism. Shadow is an ex-con who gets catapulted into a crazy world where he finds himself helping the old gods reclaim their relevance. Throughout the book, we follow Shadow on his journey through America as the sidekick of the enigmatic Wednesday, recruiting disenchanted gods to help win a war that will bring them back to their former glories.
If the premise sounds intriguing, rest assured that it is, unfortunately the execution lets it down slightly. The best parts of the book are the parts spent encountering the old gods who have been forced to live human lives in America after their once loyal worshippers have either died or forgotten them. More interesting still are the occasional glimpses into the gods’ true forms which are spectacular and often terrifying in equal measure. The Ifrit and The Queen of Seba scenes are just a few that spring to mind. There is no denying the Gaiman’s imagination is one of the best in modern fiction, and “American Gods” never falters in the imagination department .
Another commendable aspect is the characters themselves. From the ever mysterious Wednesday to the fear-inducing Czernobog, Gaiman’s characters are a unique and interesting bunch with a strong motive directing their actions. Whilst it is natural for the reader to back the cause of the old gods, it is never made explicit that they have morally superior reasons for their actions than the new gods do. This lends their exploits some moral ambiguity, where it is left to the reader to decide which group is on the side of right, or indeed whether either of them are.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By G. Francis on 17 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will keep this short. I read this when it came out and enjoyed it, almost 10 years on I picked it up again and loved it. I have found myself thinking about the book when away from it, it has a magical effect, so fantastical yet so grounded in reality that you will never look at a cat or an undertaker in quite the same way. I am very excited to hear that HBO are planning a series based on it and the author is writing a sequel... Can't wait! If you like your fantasy a little dark, a little humorous, a little real, this is the book for you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa F on 20 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Ooh, boy.

Back before I decided to read this, several friends of mine suggested avoiding Neil Gaiman’s longer works entirely. “He’s better at short stories,” they reasoned, and they were generally correct. I thought Coraline and The Graveyard Book were pretty great, and another one of my friends said she adored Stardust, even more so than the fan-favourite movie!

But, I said to myself, American Gods has this amazing premise. The old gods are in America, and they’re in very real danger of being ousted from existence by the ‘new guys': money, television, the Internet, etc. It’s not some snarky, fluffy take on old gods living in a modern day city, like Marie Phillips’ Gods Behaving Badly, it’s highly acclaimed and the cover quote is from Philip Pullman. Moth to a flame, I tell you. Of course I was going to get around to reading it some day.

Now, when it comes to writing styles, I really do like some restraint in my description. Don’t strive for the most flowery purple prose, but do make sure you are descriptive in some way. Gaiman rarely ever stops to smell the roses. He does occasionally string together a really lovely sentence, but for the most part, it is one of the most blandly-written books I have ever read. Describe a few more things than just the odd change of scenery, mate. It often plays out like: Shadow goes here, Shadow goes there. Shadow encounters a somebody, Shadow goes out again and drives off. I don’t mind when books play out in a very filmic way, but I was aching for more description of the setting and the characters’ emotions and for the plot to stop dragging its knuckles.

Speaking of characters’ emotions, though, was there any reason for Shadow to be quite so bland as he was?
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Wynne Kelly TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not being a fan of "fantasy" novels I knew from the outset that this was probably not going to be my cup of tea. However it came highly recommended by a young family member so I decided to give it a go.

American Gods is essentially a road trip book and is written with great energy and bucketloads of imagination. The main premise is that gods die when they are forgotten but many have been brought to the New World by immigrants and are still around and impinging on the lives of humans. Some of the gods are more easy to identify than others (Mr Wednesday=Odin, Mr Nancy=Anansi and Low Key=Loki). In Shadow (the main protagonist) the analogy with Christianity is implicit - the tree, death, resurrection, the wound in the side.

Shadow's journey criss-crossing the United States is told from the outsider's viewpoint. He passes through towns with fascinating names: Thebes, Peru, Cairo etc. and meets equally fascinating characters.

This is a big novel packed with action and ideas but a bit rambling and ragged in parts. However I can understand its appeal - it is energetic, witty and imaginative.

At one point a character says "All things have rules." "Yeah," said Shadow, "But nobody tells me what they are." As a new reader to this genre I felt the same!
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