American Gods: A Novel (original 2001; edition 2003)
(4.07)||12 / 1464|
Shadow is a man with a past. But now he wants nothing more than to live a quiet life with his wife and stay out of trouble. Until he learns that she's been killed in a terrible accident. Flying home for the funeral, as a violent storm rocks the plane, a strange man in the seat next to him introduces himself. The man calls himself Mr. Wednesday, and he knows more about Shadow than is possible. He warns Shadow that a far bigger storm is coming. And from that moment on, nothing will ever he the same.… (more)
|Title:||American Gods: A Novel|
|Info:||Harper Perennial (2003), Edition: Later printing, Paperback, 624 pages|
260Fragile 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.
252Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (WilliamPascoe)
WilliamPascoe: Phenominally brilliant fantasy .
232Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (infiniteletters)
100Fables, Vol. 01: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham (sbuehrle)
111Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko (citygirl)
citygirl: When the supernatural collides with modern life. One in Moscow, one in the US.
177Small Gods by Terry Pratchett (MyriadBooks)
MyriadBooks: For the necessity of belief.
102The 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
81Last 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.
94The Stand by Stephen King (clif_hiker)
72Un Lun Dun by China Miéville (bertyboy)
bertyboy: Alternative London for alternative fantasy. Have a go!
61King Rat by China Miéville (Runkst)
117The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams (WoodsieGirl)
62Eight 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.
40The Wood Wife by Terri Windling (Larkken)
30Someplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint (MyriadBooks)
52Lamb: 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.
30The 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.
30Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway (BookshelfMonstrosity)
41Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (Chricke)
52The 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.
(see all 46 recommendations)
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|Group Topic ||Messages||Last Message|| |
| ||The Green Dragon: Book Discussion: American Gods Chapters 14-18||8 unread / 8||restu777, January 2020|
| ||The Green Dragon: Book Discussion: American Gods Chapters 9-12||11 unread / 11||restu777, January 2020|
| ||The Green Dragon: Book Discussion: American Gods Chapters 1-4||60 unread / 60||selena777, November 2017|
| ||The Green Dragon: Book Discussion: American Gods Chapters 5-8||30 unread / 30||selena777, November 2017|
| ||The Green Dragon: Book Discussion: American Gods Chapters 19 - 20||29 unread / 29||selena777, November 2017|
| ||World Reading Circle: American Gods - Neil Gaiman||2 unread / 2||mirrani, May 2014|
| ||One LibraryThing, One Book: American Gods: Why is Shadow not alive?||10 unread / 10||Thespian1, March 2014|
| ||One LibraryThing, One Book: American Gods: Women warriors||9 unread / 9||Thespian1, March 2014|
| ||One LibraryThing, One Book: American Gods: Settings||11 unread / 11||Thespian1, March 2014|
| ||One LibraryThing, One Book: American Gods: Gods in disguise||17 unread / 17||Thespian1, March 2014|
| ||One LibraryThing, One Book: American Gods: First impressions||47 unread / 47||jjwilson61, March 2014|
| ||75 Books Challenge for 2011: American Gods by Neil Gaiman - Discussion Thread||38 unread / 38||Carl64, May 2012|
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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
(University of Chicago Press, 1971)
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.
For absent friends—Kathy Acker and Roger Zelazny,
and all points between
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.
* There is a secret that the casinos possess, a secret they hold and guard and prize, the holiest of their mysteries. For most people do not gamble to win money, after all, although that is what is advertised, sold, claimed, and dreamed. But that is merely the easy lie that gets them through the enormous, ever-open, welcoming doors.
The secret is this: people gamble to lose money. They come to the casinos for the moment in which they feel alive, to ride the spinning wheel and turn with the cards and lose themselves, with the coins, in the slots. They may brag about the nights they won, the money they took from the casino, but they treasure, secretly treasure, the times they lost. It's a sacrifice, of sorts.
People imagine, and people believe: and it is that belief, that rock-solid belief, that makes things happen.
“Gods are great,” said Atsula, slowly, as if she were comprehending a great secret. “But the heart is greater. For it is from our hearts they come, and to our hearts they shall return…”
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.
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English (3)
Shadow is a man with a past. But now he wants nothing more than to live a quiet life with his wife and stay out of trouble. Until he learns that she's been killed in a terrible accident. Flying home for the funeral, as a violent storm rocks the plane, a strange man in the seat next to him introduces himself. The man calls himself Mr. Wednesday, and he knows more about Shadow than is possible. He warns Shadow that a far bigger storm is coming. And from that moment on, nothing will ever he the same.
No library descriptions found.
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
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.
Swap (1 have, 695 want)
Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54
American and Canadian American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999