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American Gods: The Author's Preferred Text (2001)

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: American Gods (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,7021581,669 (4.1)9
Upon his release from prison, a widower accepts a job as a bodyguard and joins the battle between the gods of yore and the neoteric gods of present-day America.
  1. 40
    Neverwhere: The Author's Preferred Text by Neil Gaiman (HoudeRat)
  2. 20
    The Sandman: Slipcase Box Set, Vol. 1-10 by Neil Gaiman (HoudeRat)
  3. 10
    The Absolute Sandman Volume One by Neil Gaiman (zapzap)
  4. 00
    The Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis (charlie68)
    charlie68: Some common themes
  5. 00
    A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: Both works have elements of religion and belief. They are both mystical in very different ways.
  6. 00
    11/22/63 by Stephen King (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: Both novels are epic. They both have elements of time travel and a sense that one's actions can lead to unintended consequences.
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» See also 9 mentions

English (155)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (158)
Showing 1-5 of 155 (next | show all)
Good Golly Miss Molly, what a book! ( )
  Steve_Walker | Sep 13, 2020 |
It's been a long time since a book has been such an exciting adventure for me! I often remain a little detached from the characters, or the story line. But I found myself excited for Shadow's ventures and who he ran into.

This story is a delight for mythology lovers, even more so because it throws in every kind of mythology. Norse, African, Eastern European... It was a good book to sit away with. It took classic mythologic elements and twisted them around and around.
There's a lot of 'duh'-moments that make sense later, and even if you think you're clever and have every clue, Mr. Gaiman will still give you a run for your money.

Holy mackerel I loved this book! *changes rating* ( )
  stormnyk | Aug 6, 2020 |
Could not finish ( )
  jusbeachin | Jun 22, 2020 |
I'm not quite sure what to think of this book. There were parts I loved, parts that confused me, and parts I hated. This book surprised me and caught me off-guard, but in the end, I was felt like something was missing. I don't know what it was but it was a great book. However, there was something about it that nagged at me.

It could have been because of how the two sides were laid out. My problem with the book could be more fundamental, but I enjoyed the ideas. That probably doesn't make any sense, but I'm trying to be generic enough to not give anything away.

Overall, it was a very gripping story and should be read by anyone who enjoys getting lost in a book. ( )
  cgfaulknerog | May 28, 2020 |
Read on Staycation at Folly Beach. Worth the re-read. ( )
  bookczuk | Feb 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 155 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, SarahNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKean, DaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
One question that has always intrigued me is what happens to demonic beings when immigrants move from their homelands. Irish-Americans remember the fairies, Norwegian-Americans the nisser, Greek-Americans the vryókolas, but only in relation to events remembered in the Old Country. When I once asked why such demons were not seen in America, my informants giggled confusedly and said, "They're scared to pass the ocean, it's too far," pointing out that Christ and the apostles never came to America.

--Richard Dorson, "A Theory For American Folklore", American Folklore and the Historian
The boundaries of our country sir? Why sir, on the north we are bounded by the Aurora Borealis, on the east we are bounded by the rising sun, on the south we are bounded by the procession of the Equinoxes, and on the west by the Day of Judgement
-The American Joe Miller's Jest Book
They took her to the cemet'ry
In a big ol' cadillac
They took her to the cemet'ry
But they did not bring her back.
-old song
Dedication
For absent friends--Kathy Acker and Roger Zelazny, and all points between
First words
Shadow had done three years in prison.
Quotations
Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.
"A town isn't a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but without a bookstore it knows it's not fooling a soul."
When people came to America they brought us with them. They brought me, and Loki, and Thor, Anansi and the Lion-God, Leprechauns and Kobalds and Banshees, Kubera and Frau Holle and Ashtaroth, and the brought you. We rode here in their minds, and we took root. We travelled with the settlers to the new lands across the ocean.
The land is vast. Soon enough, our people abandoned us, remembered us only as creatures of the old land, as things that had not come with them to the new. Our true believers passed on, or stopped believing, and we were left, lost and scared and dispossessed, only what little smidgens of worship or belief we could find. And to get by as best we could.
'So that's what we've done, gotten by, out on the edges of things, where no-one was watching us too closely.'
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.
All we have to believe with is our senses, the tools we use to perceive the world: our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted. And even if we do not believe, then still we cannot travel in any other way than the road our senses show us; and we must walk that road to the end.
There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The first edition of this title was published in 2001. The 10th anniversary edition (published 2011) AND the Folio Society edition (published 2017) of the author's preferred text, are expanded editions. Please do not combine these expanded editions with the original.
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Upon his release from prison, a widower accepts a job as a bodyguard and joins the battle between the gods of yore and the neoteric gods of present-day America.

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Book description
Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own.
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