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1 Beaverton Science Fiction and Fantasy- A to Z

American Gods

by

American Gods Cover

 

Awards

Winner of the 2002 Hugo Award

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The storm was coming....

Shadow spent three years in prison, keeping his head down, doing his time. All he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and to stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his scheduled release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place.

On the plane ride home to the funeral, Shadow meets a grizzled man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A self-styled grifter and rogue, Wednesday offers Shadow a job. And Shadow, a man with nothing to lose, accepts.

But working for the enigmatic Wednesday is not without its price, and Shadow soon learns that his role in Wednesday's schemes will be far more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. Entangled in a world of secrets, he embarks on a wild road trip and encounters, among others, the murderous Czernobog, the impish Mr. Nancy, and the beautiful Easter — all of whom seem to know more about Shadow than he himself does.

Shadow will learn that the past does not die, that everyone, including his late wife, had secrets, and that the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined.

All around them a storm of epic proportions threatens to break. Soon Shadow and Wednesday will be swept up into a conflict as old as humanity itself. For beneath the placid surface of everyday life a war is being fought — and the prize is the very soul of America.

As unsettling as it is exhilarating, American Gods is a dark and kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an America at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. Magnificently told, this work of literary magic will haunt the reader far beyond the final page.

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:

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

Review:

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

Review:

"American Gods is sexy, thrilling, dark, funny and poetic." Teller, of Penn and Teller

Review:

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

Review:

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

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

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the critically acclaimed and award-winning creator of the Sandman series of graphic novels, author of the novels Anansi Boys, American Gods, Coraline, Stardust, and Neverwhere, the short-fiction collection Smoke and Mirrors, and the bestselling children's books The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish and The Wolves in the Walls (both illustrated by Dave McKean). Originally from England, Gaiman now lives in the United States.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Cherish, March 7, 2012 (view all comments by Cherish)
The story refreshing, certainly not something you see everyday, and enjoyable. The way Gaiman portrays the gods in this book is interesting - old gods trying to fit in in the modern world, mythical characters come alive and are reinterpreted in delightful ways, and, while they are all gods, there is a human element to some of them that makes their stories delightful to read (thinking particularly about Ibis and Jacquel). There is no doubt that Gaiman is one of the great science fiction writers of the time, and he proves this in American Gods. My only minor complaint is that the main character himself doesn't seem very fleshed out, kind of two dimensional.
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expectdelays, June 2, 2010 (view all comments by expectdelays)
I love reading this book, not just the first time but every time since as well. I sometimes open it to a random page for a quick dose of excellent prose, fascinating characters, and masterful storytelling.

"American Gods" approaches the same theme of Douglas Adams' "The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul" and Tom Robbins' "Jitterbug Perfume": the fates of gods when men abandon them. These three remarkable works describe divinities whose actual presence in our world originates with and depends on man's belief in them. As belief in them wanes so do they. How gods and men react to this is, in the hands of each of these authors, simply riveting.

Gaiman populates his novel with deities from an astonishing range of time and beliefs without presenting a catalog of pantheons. While most of them appear only briefly or are mentioned in passing, Gaiman's gives them all an intriguing immediacy. As he depicts the main characters briefly interacting with various gods I had repeated moments of "oh, I know who that is," that can I only describe as, well, primal.

This was my first experience reading a full-length piece by Gaiman and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys excellent writing.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Leslie Joseph, August 13, 2008 (view all comments by Leslie Joseph)
This book is amazing. It's quite long, but has kept my attention the entire way through. I love how Gaiman wraps up every loose thread before the story comes to a close. Highly recommended!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780380973651
Author:
Gaiman, Neil
Publisher:
William Morrow
Author:
by Neil Gaiman
Author:
by Neil Gaiman
Location:
New York
Subject:
Spiritual Warfare
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Fantasy - Contemporary
Subject:
National characteristics, american
Subject:
Bodyguards
Subject:
Ex-convicts
Subject:
Widowers
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Contemporary
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series Volume:
no. PR03
Publication Date:
June 19, 2001
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
6-1/8 X 9-1/4
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

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Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
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American Gods Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.95 In Stock
Product details 480 pages William Morrow - English 9780380973651 Reviews:
"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 , "Neil Gaiman, a writer of rare perception and endless imagination...is...an American treasure."
"Review" by , "Gaiman slithers his snakily poetic way through the labyrinth of the human soul."
"Review" by , "American Gods is sexy, thrilling, dark, funny and poetic."
"Review" by , "A magical modern Adventures of Huckleberry Finn — this book will astonish you on ever page."
"Review" by , "Here we have...a real emotional richness and grandeur that emerge from masterful storytelling."
"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."
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