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2 Beaverton Science Fiction and Fantasy- A to Z

American Gods: A Novel

by

American Gods: A Novel Cover

 

Awards

Winner of the 2002 Nebula Award
Winner of the 2002 Hugo Award

Staff Pick

Do you ever wonder where gods go when all their worshippers are gone? Neil Gaiman tries to answer that question. Some live quiet lives in the Midwest, some don't remember who they are, and others have plans. Gaiman, as always, has a unique voice and good characters. His villains are scary, his heroes not always heroic, and his other characters are unique. I would recommend this book to anyone. As is true with most of Gaiman's work, American Gods is approachable by any reader, and everyone I've recommend it to has loved it (with the exception of the occasional contrarian or hater).
Recommended by Hobie, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Released from prison, Shadow finds his world turned upside down. His wife has been killed; a mysterious stranger offers him a job. But Mr. Wednesday, who knows more about Shadow than is possible, warns that a storm is coming — a battle for the very soul of America... and they are in its direct path.

One of the most talked-about books of the new millennium, American Gods is a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an American landscape at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. It is, quite simply, a contemporary masterpiece.

Review:

"[A]mbitious, gloriously funny, and oddly heartwarming....A magical mystery tour through the mythologies of all cultures, a unique and moving love story — and another winner for the phenomenally gifted, consummately reader-friendly Gaiman." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[A] noirish sci-fi road trip....[Gaiman] has a deft hand with the mythologies he tinkers with here; even better, he's a fine, droll storyteller." Kera Bolonik, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"American Gods is a crackerjack suspense yarn with an ending that both surprises and makes perfect sense, as well as many passages of heady, imagistic writing. And for all that he's missed in the American propensity for religious fanaticism, Gaiman has exactly nailed the way we talk..." Laura Miller, Salon.com (read the entire Salon review)

Review:

"Mystery, satire, sex, horror, poetic prose — American Gods uses all these to keep the reader turning the pages." Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

Review:

"Shadow's poignant personal moments and the tale's affectionate slices of smalltown life are much better developed than the aimless plot....Mere mortal readers will enjoy the tale's wit, but puzzle over its strained mythopoeia." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"With his latest novel, Gaiman has created an engrossing mythology already begging for new installments....[F]iercely imagined..." Chris Barsanti, Book Magazine

Review:

"By turns thoughtful, hilarious, disturbing, uplifting, horrifying and enjoyable — and sometimes all at once." St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Review:

"After two sterling fantasies...Gaiman comes a cropper in a tale that is just too busy and, oddly for him, unengaging. His large fandom may make it a success, but many of them, even, will find it a chore to get through." Ray Olson, Booklist

Review:

"Every word in this amazing book is loaded with double meaning, every line of the story has a purpose, and each character is more than he or she seems....Filled with sly, dark humor and vivid personalities..." VOYA

Review:

"Immensely rewarding....A finely crafted novel of weight and significance." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"Provocative yet fun....American Gods works because of Gaiman's singular control over the proceedings, his nimble and intelligent voice, and his gift for painting spectacle and splashing big themes across his canvas. (Grade: B)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Smart, dark....Uniquely ambitious." GQ

Review:

"Shadow's personal tale and the details of American small-town life are well developed compared with the not-well-defined plot....The book has wit but is too busy and not very engaging..." Library Journal

Review:

"Pointed, occasionally comic, often scary, consistently moving and provocative....Gaiman's novel will probably please newcomers to his work while convincing many devoted followers that his creativity and craft are still razor-sharp." USA Today

Review:

"Gaiman is fast becoming one of the most important of modern writers. In American Gods he has crafted a novel that is unique, literate, and highly readable. Don't miss it. (Grade: A+)" Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)

Review:

"American Gods manages to reinvent, and to reassert, the enduring importance of fantastic literature itself in this late age of the world. Dark fun, and nourishing to the soul." Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Review:

"Neil Gaiman, a writer of rare perception and endless imagination...is...an American treasure." William Gibson, author of Neuromancer and Pattern Recognition

Review:

"Here we have...a real emotional richness and grandeur that emerge from masterful storytelling." Peter Straub, co-author of Black House

Review:

"A magical modern Adventures of Huckleberry Finn — this book will astonish you on ever page." Tim Powers, author of Declare

Review:

"Gaiman slithers his snakily poetic way through the labyrinth of the human soul." Diana Gabaldon

Review:

"American Gods is like a fast run downhill through a maze — both exhilarating and twisted. In it, Gaiman introduces a world where the dead past is all too alive, where gods struggle to keep a toehold on existence, and where reality's backstage is only a carousel ride away." Jane Lindskold, author of Changer

Review:

“Original, engrossing, and endlessly inventive; a picaresque journey across America where the travelers are even stranger than the roadside attractions.” George R. R. Martin

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books, including the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, Coraline, Anansi Boys, and The Graveyard Book; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, and M Is for Magic. He is also the coauthor (with Terry Pratchett) of the novel Good Omens, and coeditor (with Al Sarrantonio) of the fiction anthology Stories. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery Medal. Originally from England, Neil Gaiman now lives in America.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 20 comments:

Witz, April 10, 2015 (view all comments by Witz)
This was a fun read; I think it has much to do with Gaiman's breezy writing style and the fact that he didn't take his subject matter too seriously.
This is not traditional fantasy or sci-fi....The title is the story: America being fertile soil for supporting every remembered deity from every country. But time has not been kind to these gods and the reader travels to parts unknown with Shadow--the narrator-- as the main guide [another clever naming device]. A key principle in this book is that death is not death as mere mortals might understand it...but I leave that for prospective readers to explore.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
bear78, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by bear78)
So addictive it's frustrating...This book sent me down a long line of Gaiman works. I can't help but read anything and everything Gaiman now! Plus I've heard there was a special autographed edition run this year.

Recommend this work to any serious fantasy fanatic.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Nitesh, January 5, 2010 (view all comments by Nitesh)
Gaiman at his best. Dark and brooding mythology, grand scale and a raven who refuses to say "nevermore".
America is the backdrop and the gods are trying not to get deported.
Read this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 20 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060558123
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Gaiman, Neil
Publisher:
WmMorrowPB
Location:
New York
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Fantasy - Contemporary
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Contemporary
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Perennial ed.
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
September 2, 2003
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.43 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Horror » General
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » Contemporary
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » General
Humanities » Mythology » Folklore and Storytelling

American Gods: A Novel Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages WmMorrowPB - English 9780060558123 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Do you ever wonder where gods go when all their worshippers are gone? Neil Gaiman tries to answer that question. Some live quiet lives in the Midwest, some don't remember who they are, and others have plans. Gaiman, as always, has a unique voice and good characters. His villains are scary, his heroes not always heroic, and his other characters are unique. I would recommend this book to anyone. As is true with most of Gaiman's work, American Gods is approachable by any reader, and everyone I've recommend it to has loved it (with the exception of the occasional contrarian or hater).

"Review" by , "[A]mbitious, gloriously funny, and oddly heartwarming....A magical mystery tour through the mythologies of all cultures, a unique and moving love story — and another winner for the phenomenally gifted, consummately reader-friendly Gaiman."
"Review" by , "[A] noirish sci-fi road trip....[Gaiman] has a deft hand with the mythologies he tinkers with here; even better, he's a fine, droll storyteller."
"Review" by , "American Gods is a crackerjack suspense yarn with an ending that both surprises and makes perfect sense, as well as many passages of heady, imagistic writing. And for all that he's missed in the American propensity for religious fanaticism, Gaiman has exactly nailed the way we talk..." (read the entire Salon review)
"Review" by , "Mystery, satire, sex, horror, poetic prose — American Gods uses all these to keep the reader turning the pages."
"Review" by , "Shadow's poignant personal moments and the tale's affectionate slices of smalltown life are much better developed than the aimless plot....Mere mortal readers will enjoy the tale's wit, but puzzle over its strained mythopoeia."
"Review" by , "With his latest novel, Gaiman has created an engrossing mythology already begging for new installments....[F]iercely imagined..."
"Review" by , "By turns thoughtful, hilarious, disturbing, uplifting, horrifying and enjoyable — and sometimes all at once."
"Review" by , "After two sterling fantasies...Gaiman comes a cropper in a tale that is just too busy and, oddly for him, unengaging. His large fandom may make it a success, but many of them, even, will find it a chore to get through."
"Review" by , "Every word in this amazing book is loaded with double meaning, every line of the story has a purpose, and each character is more than he or she seems....Filled with sly, dark humor and vivid personalities..."
"Review" by , "Immensely rewarding....A finely crafted novel of weight and significance."
"Review" by , "Provocative yet fun....American Gods works because of Gaiman's singular control over the proceedings, his nimble and intelligent voice, and his gift for painting spectacle and splashing big themes across his canvas. (Grade: B)"
"Review" by , "Smart, dark....Uniquely ambitious."
"Review" by , "Shadow's personal tale and the details of American small-town life are well developed compared with the not-well-defined plot....The book has wit but is too busy and not very engaging..."
"Review" by , "Pointed, occasionally comic, often scary, consistently moving and provocative....Gaiman's novel will probably please newcomers to his work while convincing many devoted followers that his creativity and craft are still razor-sharp."
"Review" by , "Gaiman is fast becoming one of the most important of modern writers. In American Gods he has crafted a novel that is unique, literate, and highly readable. Don't miss it. (Grade: A+)"
"Review" by , "American Gods manages to reinvent, and to reassert, the enduring importance of fantastic literature itself in this late age of the world. Dark fun, and nourishing to the soul."
"Review" by , "Neil Gaiman, a writer of rare perception and endless imagination...is...an American treasure."
"Review" by , "Here we have...a real emotional richness and grandeur that emerge from masterful storytelling."
"Review" by , "A magical modern Adventures of Huckleberry Finn — this book will astonish you on ever page."
"Review" by , "Gaiman slithers his snakily poetic way through the labyrinth of the human soul."
"Review" by , "American Gods is like a fast run downhill through a maze — both exhilarating and twisted. In it, Gaiman introduces a world where the dead past is all too alive, where gods struggle to keep a toehold on existence, and where reality's backstage is only a carousel ride away."
"Review" by , “Original, engrossing, and endlessly inventive; a picaresque journey across America where the travelers are even stranger than the roadside attractions.”
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