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A storm is coming . . . 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 Shadowâ€™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 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. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbours secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path. Relevant and prescient, American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distils the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.
Reviews One of the finest novels I have ever read. Really covers the Campbell stuff, the Hero's Journey, the Wounded Hero, the path of a shaman, all using completely fresh metaphors without any of the typical "spiritual" language context. Really honors the pagan gods and gives a way of thinking about gods that also ties into culture, paradigm shifts, and the essence of what it is to be an American. My god what a great book.
Of course the idea that gods are given life by human worship is nothing new, it's an old science fiction trope but Gaiman's novel is the most well-crafted exploration of the concept that I have seen thus far. And of course, it's not about the gods. It's about post-modern American culture and the culture wars that boil beneath the surface. _____________________________________________________________ Amazing thought of the life of any person whom believes that the original gods are still out there and how intense Gaiman leads to places so into oblivion that you cant put it down. I usually look for the unusual in novels and i think the writer has hit gold or what anyone believes to be their pot of gold. All with an open mind should read this novel. _____________________________________________________________ In a world of constantly evolving beliefs and morals, this book stands to try to explain why we as Americans feel pressure to change our spiritual selves. Using Shadow to stand for our evolving society Gaiman shows how we WILL make it out the other side and how the new and old can coexist.
With that said, the best parts of this book are the small bits of historical fiction interlaced with the main story that explain how some of the gods came to America in the first place. It has piqued my interest in old religions and an interest that goes beyond a book is the highest acolyte I can give. _____________________________________________________________ Neil Gaiman is absolutely brilliant! This is only the second book I've read by him, the first being Good Omens by Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Good Omens didn't even come close to being as good as this book. Basically, the old gods from every pantheon immigrated to the United States following the people that worshipped them. As people started losing faith in these gods, the gods started becoming weaker and eventually had to start living like humans and getting jobs, etc. The old gods start feeling threatened by the new gods (the media, computers, cars, etc.) and a big battle starts brewing. I thought this was an amazing book and I look forward to reading more by Gaiman. _____________________________________________________________ Mr. Gaiman has become one of my top ten favorite authors. He is able to paint characters that you swear you will meet on the street. I find I am transported to places where reality blurs and yet brings the real world into sharper focus at the same time. What an imagination! Thank you, thank you for many hours of fascinating reading.
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