American Gods

American Gods

Book - 2011
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j
jimg2000
Jun 01, 2018

Gaiman, the award winning British writer, took readers on a road trip coast to coast in USA. Along the way, he told tales of Gods among us … an unusual and enjoyable read (SF, horror, fantasy, mystery, thriller, mythology and one heck of a love story) with or without partaking camp-fire food infused with Peyote.

Note: There are plenty of material from the novel for at least two more seasons of the TV series “American Gods”; and that Season One showed much more graphic violence and raw sex than the book in mho.

l
Linyarai
May 05, 2018

I read this for the "A Book about travel" part of my 2018 reading challenge. I loved it, like I love all of his books. I enjoyed the road trip through the US and the idea that landmarks are places of worship. I also liked the variety of different gods.

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Lotushead
Apr 10, 2018

A strange original. I had never read anything like this before. Capable to giving chills and the creeps without violent action.

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jezicuhh
Mar 27, 2018

Wow - and to think, I put off reading this one because I did not think I would like it. Neil Gaiman never fails to write an amazing, unique story that you can't help but finish. Sure, this one was pretty long and could be seen as slightly dry at some parts. All the while, every little piece of the story comes together to mean something. I am so glad I stuck with this book, I feel a great sense of satisfaction in finishing it :-)

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Kprz88
Feb 06, 2018

This is in my top five favorite books. I wish I could re-read it over again for the first time. I have had a soft spot for mythology and folk tales for many years and this book has both.

ArapahoeJulia Jan 17, 2018

I loved listening to this audiobook, read by Neil Gaiman himself. I HIGHLY recommend giving it a listen!

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Butterfly121761
Jan 08, 2018

When I started it I found it very interesting and then not too far in I started getting bored but I wanted to see what happened so I continued to read it and then was finding myself just wanting to get it over with and started speed reading/skimming so by the time I got to page 374 I just felt I gave up.

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skippyone
Dec 30, 2017

Loved the book, was very excited to hear Starz was bringing it to t.v. Just finished first season, looking forward to season 2. Neither the book nor the series is everyone's cup of tea, but Neil Gaiman is not for the faint of heart.

k
kguerito
Nov 16, 2017

This book awesome, it started really interested. In the middle it got pretty dry, but the ending was very action pack. I’m excited to watch the series when the Library gets it.

jasoneshoup Nov 14, 2017

Having just watched season 1 of the tv series, I wanted to re-visit this great book that I read years ago. It still holds up as a fantastic example of Gaiman's work, and as a fantastic piece of uniquely-American folklore.

SPL_Liz Nov 01, 2017

I enjoyed the book. It meandered a bit but given that most of the story took place on the road, it fit well. There were many colourful and unique characters and the reader was left to interpret them by their actions rather than their thoughts. The plot had many jogs, turns, and spins and Gaiman's storytelling was very compelling. I found myself trying to anticipate where the story was going. I was sometimes satisfied by my correct guesses and sometimes by the unanticipated direction the story took. I enjoyed feeling sympathetic towards flawed characters made more interesting by their bizarre circumstances. Recommended for those who like magic realism, mythology, semiotics, and the dark and strange.

j
JSteed99
Oct 08, 2017

American Gods fell far below my expectations given the hype surrounding it. Gaiman struggles to figure out how to introduce a female character in a way that doesn't remark on her beauty and curvaceous form (or lack thereof) save for a scant few characters. The book feels way too bulky for what it is as well. It meanders to the point where, by the time I hit the halfway mark, I was just bored silly. The premise is interesting and has potential but I was mostly just unimpressed. If you can overlook the sexism and long-winded plot I'm sure it's enjoyable, but I just couldn't get myself to pick it back up.

8
800kw0rm_31337
Aug 29, 2017

A Masterpiece, this is Neil Gaiman at his best.
The deluxe audio book is also utterly fantastic.

Chapel_Hill_KatieJ Aug 22, 2017

I finished this book, and felt like I had missed something. So many people recommended this book to me, and I just didn’t get it. I felt like Gaiman just wanted to cleverly introduce various gods and goddesses without the storyline necessarily going anywhere. And at the end of the book, I felt like I still didn’t know Shadow at all. Maybe I should have read the original instead of the tenth anniversary edition and saved myself 12,000 words.

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wendyheath
Aug 11, 2017

The show is based on Gaiman's 2001 book, which follows Shadow, a man who returns to his hometown to find that the love of his life and best friend are dead. He is then left to put together the pieces. The first episode is set to premiere at the SXSW’s annual film festival on Starz network.

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pspice
Jun 28, 2017

I read critics comments on the book and put myself on the waiting list. I enjoyed it. Not my absolute favourite of speculative fiction. But Shadow is an interesting anti-hero and the gods in their various disguises - or incarnations - are weird and funny. So I picked up "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" which is foreshadowed in American Gods - or vice versa - and am enjoying that as well.

CMLReads_Kristin Jun 01, 2017

I picked this up because I love Neil Gaiman and the premise intrigued me. I have mixed feelings about this because I love the concept and struggled a bit with the execution. I'm really curious to see how this translates to TV...and looking forward to reading the sequel. I really enjoyed listening to this one!

a
ADWithrow
May 22, 2017

I had a really tough time with this one. I went in kind of blind. I knew very little of the plot beyond the synopsis and just jumped on the book because I wanted to read it before the show started. I’ve had this on my to-read list for ages and moved it up, way up, when I heard Ian McShane was in the show! Love that guy.
Anyways, I has the version with the author’s commentary in the beginning. He mentioned that it would be a meandering journey. And boy did he mean that. I struggled through this. It was slow and dull in so many parts that I nearly put it down about a dozen times. I get building atmospheric settings, etc. but I don’t need a soliloquy describing every weather pattern that occurs throughout America. It ended up being a slog from start to finish for me. And while I normally love anything to do with mythology this just didn’t do it for me.
For me, a lot of my issues with this book came down to a lack of coherence. There were entire passages, entire chapters, that didn’t make a lick of sense to me. I get the overall gist of the plot and the character arcs but there were points throughout this text where I was well and truly lost. I feel that those areas could have been made clearer for the reader, just from a writing standpoint. I also feel that some of the characters were barely sketched out. Many of the gods were only explored on a surface level which does not allow me to form a clear picture or grow attached. Then these characters vanished, not to be mentioned for quite some time until they were needed again for whatever reason and brought back, usually in a flow breaking manner. The pacing was disrupted continually like this. I liked the coming to America breaks. Those were clearly stated and allowed for a depth to the plot but the random asides that just popped up were disorienting.

LPL_FisherA Apr 15, 2017

I feel so conflicted about this award winning novel by the legendary Neil Gaiman. Just so nobody comes to my house brandishing torches and pitchforks, I want to state for the record that I do enjoy Gaiman's comics, but this book left me with mixed emotions. Characters, especially some of the more interesting gods like Easter and Media, are barely present, Shadow (the protagonist) is a tough character to root for, and the book has some slower parts that are difficult to get through resulting in me wanting to skip some passages. Although I love his worldbuilding, dialogue, and writing style, American Gods left me unsatisfied in its execution and didn't deliver 100% on such an intriguing premise. I'm excited to see Bryan Fuller's take on American Gods when the show premieres later this month on Starz, as I feel he will fix some of my major criticisms of the book when adaptating it. Overall, there are many sections of American Gods that I love, but as a whole, the book played out like a series of loosely connected short stories that left me wanting more. I think that had I been in the mood for a slower paced book, this would have been a 5 star read.

ArapahoeJoshM Mar 20, 2017

A Sunday afternoon drive of a read. While it is a nice slow burn throughout, you never feel as if it's not worth your time or not engaging. Extremely enjoyable!

MomoT Jan 03, 2017

A great, page-turning read this is as much about America (the geography, the personality and history of the place) as it is about myths and gods and magic. Gaiman takes us on a journey and it's an enjoyable ride.

ArapahoeKayla Nov 08, 2016

From suspense to mystery, a love story and dark character development to fantasy and mythology this book has a bit of everything. Neil Gaiman cleverly weaves old world mythology into this fantastical modern day fable. As someone who enjoys fairy tales and following mythology I really enjoyed figuring out who the characters were based on from Gaiman's subtle interpretations. This book has a lot of complexity and depth too it and yet I felt it read easily and was an interesting story to follow.

bwortman Sep 26, 2016

I'm still not sure how I feel about this one. In Gaiman's introduction to the 10th anniversary edition he notes that a lot of readers either love or hate the book but I don't fall into either of those camps. The concept is interesting and clever and some of the characters are fascinating but the book lacks that certain je ne sais quoi that makes me love so many of Gaiman's other books and tales. If you're a fan of mythology and Gaiman this is a definite must-read, otherwise I say give it a try and find out where you fall on the spectrum.

o
oliviapham
Aug 16, 2016

An engrossing tale with a fun, dark mash-up of various mythologies. Neil Gaiman can certainly tell a story, and bonus points for me not seeing most of the plot twists coming. Knocked down a star because by the end of the book I was left wondering: so what?

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JLMason
Jul 18, 2016

This reminded me of an American folk story of the tall tales ilk where the protagonist is a sort of easy-going, self-effacing everyman aptly named “Shadow” who’s on a supernatural road trip in the American mid-west. I found nothing profound about the pagan gods of the old world battling it out with the new gods of modernity; Gaiman studiously avoids any mention of serious, main stream religions with one god (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) probably to avoid giving offense. In the introduction Gaiman, a Brit just transplanted to the US, states that he was trying to capture the feel of America through its small towns, bizarre roadside attractions, and automobile centricity. This version is the original and expanded text; I can see why it was edited. An interesting read, but not a compelling one.


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