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American Gods

Neil Gaiman

Average Review Rating Average Rating 6/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Headline Feature

Published : 2001

Copyright : Neil Gaiman 2001

ISBN-10 : PB 0-7472-7417-7
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-7472-74179

Publisher's Write-Up

After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But as the days, then the hours, then the minutes until his release tick away, he can sense something is about to go very wrong indeed. Two days before he is due to get out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, apparently in adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow makes his way back home only to encounter en route the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small town and meeting a cast of weirdly familiar characters flung together by the shared sense of impending doom. All around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break. And Shadow is being pursued doggedly by someone with whom he must somehow make his peace.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what - and who - it finds there…

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ray (171103) Rating (6/10)

Review by Ray
Rating 6/10
At over 600 pages, I never thought I'd actually finish this book. I loved Neverwhere so I thought I'd give another Gaiman book a chance and whilst it was an interesting book, I came away from it nonplussed and literary weary.

Don't get me wrong, it's a exceptional piece of work and Gaiman went to great lengths to immerse me in his story of Gods and urban America. I actually found myself reading the book mainly for the quality of writing more than for the story.

The book does seem to be many stories brought together but not entirely cohesively. You learn a war is coming between the gods of old and the new generation of gods (the internet, TV, etc.) and the story builds up to it nicely only for a rather disappointing non-climatic end.

Even the central character almost seems nonplussed about being there. He takes much of what happens in his stride, even his dead wife (yes, dead, smelly, bits dropping off) meeting him in his hotel seems not to faze him.

If you like other Gaiman works, this one may leave you disappointed but give it a chance and the writing along with the research and Gaiman's literary style may drag you in…
Ray (17th November 2003)

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