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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bucketloads of imagination.....
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...
Published on 26 Oct 2011 by Wynne Kelly

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Swollen beyond measure
Mr Gaiman tells us that this version (the "author's preferred text") is much enlarged from the original release. If this is so, then he would do well to listen to his editor next time, because there's some serious pruning needed here. As the book is aimed squarely at the US market (which seems to prefer a high weight to content ratio) it's hardly surprising that the...
Published on 9 Jun 2009 by Crookedmouth


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bucketloads of imagination....., 26 Oct 2011
By 
Wynne Kelly "Kellydoll" (Coventry, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: American Gods (Paperback)
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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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't want it to end..., 17 Sep 2012
By 
G. Francis "GeorgeB27" (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: American Gods (Paperback)
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Found a new author, 17 April 2013
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This review is from: American Gods (Paperback)
I have been a Stephen King and James Herbert, among others, for over thirty years now. However, for some strange reason I had never heard of Neil Gaiman. Well, I've just finished this book and I'm now looking forward many more from him. Oh yeah, need I say I loved this book?
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80 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big book, big ideas, 30 Nov 2005
This review is from: American Gods (Paperback)
American Gods is a big book in more ways than one; not only is it over six hundred pages long, but it deals with big ideas. The main character, Shadow, has been released from prison a few days early in order to be able to attend his wife's funeral. On the way home, he's recruited buy the mysterious Mr Wednesday.
It eventually transpires that Shadow has been recruited into a war between gods; the old gods, brought to America by the various immigrants over time, and the new gods of television and media and so forth.
The nice thing about this book is the amount of mythology hidden to a lesser or greater extent in the storytelling. Some of the gods are more easily recognisable than others; the jump from "Mr Nancy" to "Anansi", for instance, is not so great, whereas the link between Mr Wednesday to Odin is not as immediately obvious. But you don't have to have much grounding in mythology to be able to enjoy the book, which is one of the great things about it; there are plenty of layers to be unpicked, if you're that way inclined, but on the other hand, you can just sit back and enjoy Neil Gaiman's masterful storytelling.
The added benefit of this particular edition is the author interview in the back, which gives that extra little insight into the book. It's apparently also the author's preferred text, though having read both versions, I have to say that for the reader it makes little difference.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What got me into Gaiman, 4 Feb 2012
This review is from: American Gods (Paperback)
After driving down to Cornwall for a sun-and-sea camping holiday with the ladies, I realised I'd forgotten to bring a book, which was unusual for me since I'm a complete bookworm. I blamed it on the rush and panic of getting to the campsite on time and making sure we had everything. Luckily, one of my friends had brought two along with her and offered me American Gods. I'd not heard of Neil Gaiman until this point. I am so thankful that I was introduced to Gaiman's wonderful world of fiction. I could not put this book down, partly because I have a great interest in mythology, and partly because the prose was written in such a captivating way. I found the story very interesting, and the way Gaiman cleverly intertwined mythology of many cultures, along with 'modern gods' such as Internet, and Media. American Gods has ended up being one of my favourite books of all time. All time.
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45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most fun that you can have by yourself., 22 Nov 2005
By 
Andrew "docdaneeka" (Zürich, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: American Gods (Paperback)
American Gods is possibly one of the greatest books ever written. Not because of its prose, not because it is an evolutionary book of its time, but because it is the most bizarrely conceived idea that is presented in an almost plausible manner with that magical ingredient: the story weaving ability of Neil Gaiman. I loved this book, truly.
The story centres on the character of Shadow who is about to be released from prison and is eager to get back to a life and, above all, back to his wife. Two days before he is due to be released Shadows wife dies tragically in a car accident. On the journey home from prison to attend his wife’s funeral Shadow meets the enigmatic Mr Wednesday who offers him a job. Having nothing of his old life remaining to go back to Shadow reluctantly agrees to the offer on, what he believes are, his terms.
Mr Wednesday takes Shadow to a bar where he drinks three glasses of mead to “seal the agreement” and the pair meet Mad Sweeney; a leprechaun and an alcoholic. From then on nothing in Shadows life is conventional as we follow him on the path of Mr Wednesday’s agenda to a surprising and satisfying conclusion.
I could rave on about this book but I would not want to spoil the plot for you. Needless to say it has won the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Bram Stoker Award and the Locus Award. This book is pure Gaiman; its book heroin. I was reading it on the toilet, on the tube, during my tea breaks, during commercial breaks, in fact any spare minute that I had was spent reading this book I enjoyed it that much, and now my girlfriend is suffering the same fate. I would recommend this read in a heartbeat.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bad land for gods, 28 Mar 2005
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: American Gods (Paperback)
A wonderful modern fantasy, Neil Gaiman turns the genre on its head with this book. No false heroics or quests for rings or captive maidens. This story is about today's values and how they impact tradition. Gaiman adds a further novel touch by locating this tale in America's Midwest, the final stop for countless immigrants. Small towns, flat country, constrained people, far from the rush and bustle of cities. A perfect site for a cosmic battle.
Gaiman has written before of the last battle - Armageddon. Good Omens, written with Terry Pratchett, pictured an angel [good] and a demon [evil] reassessing their roles before the final confrontation. American Gods is likewise a departure from the traditional, with ancient gods rising to confront the new American god - Technology. Odin, whose believers brought him across the Atlantic, conscripts Shadow, an ex-con, into acting as a cup-bearer. Having lost his wife and the possibility of employment in a stroke, Shadow takes on the role. He's not a believer, for him it's bed and board. He grows attached to the idea that there may be something in helping the old duffer - a near-faith hardened by encounters with acolytes of the modern creed. Odin, known to Shadow as Wednesday, is hardly the epitome of "good." Technology's adherents, while not evil, are cold, harsh and power driven. As it turns out, they are typically American - practical.
Shadow's role grows from mere go-fer for Wednesday to something more significant. After all, why does Shadow's wife Laura return from the grave [and are there ever some grim scenes in that regard!]? Why sequester a go-fer to a "perfect town" in northern Wisconsin for his protection? Why do the Technology deities, especially the Media Goddess, work so hard to woo him to their cause? Shadow dreams with such intensity it would put a normal person in a room with soft walls. What keeps him sane? What keeps him going against what appear to be insurmountable odds? The answers aren't readily anticipated with Gaiman's skillful plot darting and weaving as it builds. It's not obscure, but neither is it predictable. Gaiman's prose holds the reader's attention throughout. With many threads of story line kept under tight discipline, Gaiman weaves a tapestry incorporating the real and the fantastic, the mundane and the bizarre. The emerging picture makes compelling reading.
Gaiman's research for this book stands out everywhere. The gods standing with Odin are nearly all Norse deities, but there's a sprinkling of others. The Greek and Roman pantheons are ignored, perhaps because their adherents were suborned by the Eastern Mediterranean Mob, J.C. and The Boys. Norse mythology has a comforting appeal, and "good" and "evil," "sin" and "grace" had no place. Besides, in the confrontation with technology, there seems little room for compromise, and a warrior deity to lead the host seems fitting. Shadow, who has no religion, is gently educated in these northern gods as he encounters them. They are his collective mentors, helping and encouraging him. The reason for this attention is finally revealed at the end. It's worth going there to find out. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU know YOU want it to be true!, 10 Mar 2014
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This review is from: American Gods (Kindle Edition)
"What-which God are you? Very good reading.totally different from star dust, it threw me at first but then was a joy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaiman on top form., 27 Feb 2014
By 
S. Beckett (u.k) - See all my reviews
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There is no wonder that this is being adapted into a movie!
This is Gaiman on top form, I am loving this idea of gods living amongst us.
:)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I have ever read?, 13 May 2013
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This review is from: American Gods (Kindle Edition)
Very possibly. I found it wonderful and find myself quoting or using phrases from the characters. It was also long, so not only good value cost wise but kept me entertained throughout. Double bonus.
If anyone out there is reticent regarding the purchase of this book, as I was, then relax and prepare for a journey of complexity and insight. Insight into all of us, perhaps.
God's eh?. Can't live with em, and can't live with em.
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American Gods
American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Paperback - 4 Mar 2002)
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