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American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Neil Gaiman

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26,33970542 (4.09)12 / 1264
Title:American Gods
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:Headline Book Publishing Ltd (2002), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:british, fiction, modern goth, ris, josh

Work details

American Gods by Neil Gaiman (2001)

  1. 260
    Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman (Anonymous user, moonstormer)
    Anonymous user: It's a great collection all around but the kicker is this collection includes a novella about Shadow a couple years after the events of American Gods
    moonstormer: Fragile Things contains a short story with the same character as is in American Gods. Both are highly recommended.
  2. 232
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (WilliamPascoe)
    WilliamPascoe: Phenominally brilliant fantasy .
  3. 222
    Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (infiniteletters)
  4. 121
    Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko (citygirl)
    citygirl: When the supernatural collides with modern life. One in Moscow, one in the US.
  5. 177
    Small Gods by Terry Pratchett (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the necessity of belief.
  6. 112
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (klarusu)
    klarusu: The same sense of unreality layered over a real-world setting, the same undercurrent of humour but this time it's the Devil that lands in Moscow
  7. 81
    Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham (sbuehrle)
  8. 71
    Last Call by Tim Powers (grizzly.anderson, MyriadBooks)
    grizzly.anderson: Both are about old world gods making their place in the new world.
    MyriadBooks: For aspiring to win in a bargain with gods.
  9. 127
    The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams (WoodsieGirl)
  10. 94
    The Stand {1978} by Stephen King (clif_hiker)
  11. 61
    King Rat by China Miéville (Runkst)
  12. 62
    Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones (guyalice)
    guyalice: Neil Gaiman was surprised to discover that the concept of Eight Days of Luke was very similar to what he had initially planned for the plot of American Gods. He dropped the day-theme to avoid too many similarities and gave props to Wynne Jones.
  13. 40
    Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  14. 40
    The Wood Wife by Terri Windling (Larkken)
  15. 73
    Un Lun Dun by China Miéville (bertyboy)
    bertyboy: Alternative London for alternative fantasy. Have a go!
  16. 30
    Someplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint (MyriadBooks)
  17. 30
    The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (sturlington)
    sturlington: The Bone Clocks reminded me strongly of Neil Gaiman and David Mitchell has said that Gaiman was an influence.
  18. 52
    The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America by Bill Bryson (rockhopper_penguin)
    rockhopper_penguin: I read these two books one after another. It wasn't a deliberate decision, but the two did seem to work well together. The books visit a few of the same places, and it's interesting to note how differently they are portrayed in each.
  19. 41
    Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (Chricke)
  20. 42
    Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (andomck)
    andomck: Religion, realism, fantasy, humor, low brow, etc. Makes sense to me.

(see all 44 recommendations)


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Showing 1-5 of 682 (next | show all)
This gets checked off of the Books I Should Have Read Already list, as my son has been wanting me to read this for quite a while. I think this was about two thirds too long...Gaiman writes well enough, but about that third in, it got tedious and too full of late-night Ron Popeil's "But wait! There's more!" Also, too much was too obvious...with a book that long, and with a character that vacillated between occasionally sharp and generally obtuse, he dragged out an awful lot. I'm not sure if he thought he was being clever...I've not read any other Gaiman, so I don't know if he's like Michael Crichton in that respect...but it came off that way.

A good book that I really wanted to hurry and finish. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
What a story!!
Shadow is one helluva character! He is real, gritty, strong and fearless. Reading about him and the others was a great adventure. So many times I thought Shadow was gonna be a goner, but he managed to mingle his way through each hard task put before him.
All the 'Gods' in the story made for an interesting read too, though Shadow really did take the cake there. The 'Gods' all presented these scenarios to Shadow and he had to walk through each one. Every step was harder than the last, right up to the end.
I did feel lost once, in the middle of the story, but it was gone quickly and I picked it all up again and things progressed. There was just a lot of bouncing around at one point, and it was harder to keep track of all that was happening.
Like I said, that was short-lived though, and I was at the end of the story wishing for more in no time. Seriously. Where it ended, you either have to leave it to the imagination or pray for more! I know more won't be coming, so I have in mind that Shadow stayed with Czernobog and the ladies and made a place with them.
As you see, I'm invested in this tale. If you read it, you'll be invested too.
I am watching the tv adaption now. I'll let you know later how I think that compares so we can discuss it.You need to watch it to though! ( )
  fredamans | May 18, 2017 |
The old gods are real, but they have fallen on hard times. People no longer believe in them.

I enjoyed it. ( )
  nx74defiant | Apr 30, 2017 |
I really enjoyed this book, but 10 years later, I can't remember much about it or why I liked it so much. I do, however recommend it to people who have similar interests in books.

Updated. Having now read the book, I can comment on what I said earlier. This book is about the myths and gods that Americans brought with them from other lands - though it is not all-inclusive, if you expect to find your favorite mythological creatures or deities here, you'll likely be disappointed. Its the story of Mr. Wednesday (Odin) and Shadow Moon. Shadow Moon is released from prison at the very beginning of the book and meets Mr. Wednesday on the way home and accepts a job with Mr. W. From there, Shadow finds that Mr. Wednesday is trying to raise the 'old gods' to band together and save them from being killed by 'new gods'. Other than television and the Techno Boy, the new gods are vaguely defined - basically all of our current obsessions and vices.

The story of Shadow and Mr. W's adventures are by turns exciting, amusing, sad and dark. The old gods that they meet along the way are an interesting subset of gods. Shadow, who at one point is accused of not actually living, becomes a hero in his own right, several times. In one way, this could be described as the struggle of a man to stay good while life throws obstacles at him, but its more than that. I can't say much more without revealing too much. Overall, it makes for a very enjoyable story. Some Christians may find this book objectionable, mostly for its omissions. ( )
  Karlstar | Apr 29, 2017 |
I loved it. ( )
  Aneris | Apr 22, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 682 (next | show all)
Pantangan Stroke yang sering terbengkalaikan oleh banyak orang . Pantangan Stroke adalah penyakit yang umum Pantangan Stroke ysuatu kondisi tubuh dimana terdapat gangguan pada lambung Pantangan Stroke berupa peradangan yang tidak bisa kita biarkan begitu saja. Pantangan Stroke tidak boleh diabaikan begitu saja karena Pantangan Stroke.muncul ketika seseorang telat makan, Pantangan Stroke juga bisa bersifat bawaan atau dapatan. Pantangan Stroke juga dapat disebabkan karena Pola makan yang tidak tepat akan menjadi Pantangan Stroke kambuh. Pantangan Stroke terjadi pada kalangan anak sampai dewasa Pantangan Stroke dipicu juga oleh faktor usia dengan tingkat daya tahan tubuh yang berbeda beda. maka dari iru pemahanan tentang Pantangan Stroke perlu di ketahui. karna denganPantangan Stroke kita akan lebih waspada pada penyakit ini.
Baca juga info Obat Kuat
Baca juga info Obat Kuat
added by kirito26 | editPantangan Stroke, Stroke (Jan 2, 2017)
Pantangan Hernia harus diketahui sejak dini. Pantangan Hernia adalah beberapa hal yang harus dihindari bagi penderita hernia Pantangan Hernia termasuk dalam hal hal yang harus dihindari karena berbagai jenis makanan ternyata mengandung zat yang bisa memicu kambuhnya penyakit ini Pantangan Hernia yang pertama menghindari makan asam dan pedas Pantangan Hernia tidak boleh memakan Jenis makanan kaleng atau makanan dengan kandungan pengawet kimia lainnya Pantangan Hernia juga hindari juga durian, tape, nangka, ketan, buah lengkeng dan juga anggur. Pantangan Hernia juga dapat disebabkan karena Pola makan yang tidak tepat akan menjadi Pantangan Hernia kambuh. Pantangan Hernia terjadi pada kalangan anak sampai dewasa Pantangan Hernia dipicu juga oleh faktor usia atau dari tingkat daya tahan kekuatan tubuh yang berbeda beda. maka dari iru pengetahuan tentang Pantangan Hernia perlu di ketahui. karna denganPantangan Hernia kita dapat mengantisipasi pada penyakit ini.
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Baca juga info Obat Kuat

» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neil Gaimanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Boutsikaris, DennisNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Estrada, SigridAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, SarahNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kivimäki, MikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mcginnis, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKean, DaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McLarty, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oreskes, DanielNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
For absent friends—Kathy Acker and Roger Zelazny, and all points between
First words
Shadow had done three years in prison.
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 they 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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There are at least two different editions of this book.   The original was published in 2001, and the tenth anniversary edition (Author's preferred text)  was published in 2011.   Please do not combine.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
The book follows the adventures of ex-convict Shadow, who is released from prison a few days earlier than planned on account of the death of his wife, Laura, in a car accident. Shadow finds work as the escort and bodyguard of the confidence man Mr. Wednesday, and travels across America visiting Wednesday's colleagues and acquaintances. Gradually, it is revealed that Wednesday is an incarnation of Odin the All-Father (the name Wednesday is derived from "Odin's (Woden's) day"), who in his current guise is recruiting American manifestations of the Old Gods of ancient mythology, whose powers have waned as their believers have decreased in number, to participate in an epic battle against the New American Gods, manifestations of modern life and technology (for example, the Internet, media, and modern means of transport). Laura comes back in the form of a sentient animated corpse due to a special coin Shadow had placed in her coffin, and is instrumental in eliminating several of the New Gods' agents.

AR 5.3, 28 Pts
Haiku summary
New gods, and old ones
All across America
- A storm is coming

Gods, starving, lose faith;
Easy marks for Odin's scheme.
Shadow holds his breath.

Shadow, with help from
wife, finds fickle gods and beats
them at their own game.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060558121, Paperback)

American Gods is Neil Gaiman's best and most ambitious novel yet, a scary, strange, and hallucinogenic road-trip story wrapped around a deep examination of the American spirit. Gaiman tackles everything from the onslaught of the information age to the meaning of death, but he doesn't sacrifice the razor-sharp plotting and narrative style he's been delivering since his Sandman days.

Shadow gets out of prison early when his wife is killed in a car crash. At a loss, he takes up with a mysterious character called Wednesday, who is much more than he appears. In fact, Wednesday is an old god, once known as Odin the All-father, who is roaming America rounding up his forgotten fellows in preparation for an epic battle against the upstart deities of the Internet, credit cards, television, and all that is wired. Shadow agrees to help Wednesday, and they whirl through a psycho-spiritual storm that becomes all too real in its manifestations. For instance, Shadow's dead wife Laura keeps showing up, and not just as a ghost--the difficulty of their continuing relationship is by turns grim and darkly funny, just like the rest of the book.

Armed only with some coin tricks and a sense of purpose, Shadow travels through, around, and underneath the visible surface of things, digging up all the powerful myths Americans brought with them in their journeys to this land as well as the ones that were already here. Shadow's road story is the heart of the novel, and it's here that Gaiman offers up the details that make this such a cinematic book--the distinctly American foods and diversions, the bizarre roadside attractions, the decrepit gods reduced to shell games and prostitution. "This is a bad land for Gods," says Shadow.

More than a tourist in America, but not a native, Neil Gaiman offers an outside-in and inside-out perspective on the soul and spirituality of the country--our obsessions with money and power, our jumbled religious heritage and its societal outcomes, and the millennial decisions we face about what's real and what's not. --Therese Littleton

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:03 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Just released from prison, Shadow encounters Mr. Wednesday, an enigmatic stranger who seems to know a lot about him, and when Mr. Wednesday offers him a job as his bodyguard, Shadow accepts and is plunged into a dark and perilous world.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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