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American Gods | [Neil Gaiman]

American Gods

After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in apparently adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr. Wednesday, claiming to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god, and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town.
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Publisher's Summary

After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But as the days, then the hours, then the seconds until his release tick away, he can feel a storm building. Two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in apparently adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr. Wednesday, claiming to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god, and the king of America.

Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town. But they are being pursued by someone with whom Shadow must make his peace.... Disturbing, gripping, and profoundly strange, Neil Gaiman's epic new novel sees him on the road to finding the soul of America.

©2001 Neil Gaiman (P)2012 Headline Digital

What the Critics Say

"Gaiman is a treasure house of story and we are lucky to have him." (Stephen King)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (554 )
5 star
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4.5 (386 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Rebecca Kenilworth, United Kingdom 23/02/2013
    Rebecca Kenilworth, United Kingdom 23/02/2013 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    ratings
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    "Magnificent book - as good as I remember it!"

    Read this many years ago and have just finished it on audiobook - it's still as brilliant as I remember and actually better because Neil Gaiman has put stuff back into it. Very well read too - it feels as though a great deal of care and attention was paid to make sure the detail is spot on. I think this is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K Bristol, United Kingdom 29/12/2012
    K Bristol, United Kingdom 29/12/2012 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    19
    3
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    "An intriguing tale that stays with you"

    This was a book that was recommended to me by my Mum (who loved it) a few years ago, and I must admit it has been a few months since I actually listened to it, but it is one of those stories that sticks with you. I have found myself, often thinking about the characters in it and certain points of the book.

    Neil Gaiman is a brilliant story teller and this one certainly doesn't disappoint. The characters, even though they are at the edges of plausible, are utterly believable and on the whole very likeable.

    If you like the weird and wonderful, stories about journeys and self-discovery, and gods, this is a great book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andy northwich, United Kingdom 23/12/2012
    andy northwich, United Kingdom 23/12/2012 Member Since 2012

    gorioen

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    1
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    "well read, great book"

    I hadn't read the book itself in a long while and noticed it on here so thought id give it a go. Still a great book and a really good audio book too!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Dunstable, United Kingdom 23/10/2012
    Sue Dunstable, United Kingdom 23/10/2012 Member Since 2010

    Mother of three, Nana of one. Self-employed from home so Audible is invaluable, particularly when walking the dog.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    "Gaiman's Best Work."

    I suppose this is a road trip book of sorts. And a book about belief. As would be expected from a Neil Gaiman book it's a tad surreal and it leaves a taste in the brain. On a trip to the States years after first reading it I came across road signs for the House On The Rock and had to visit, my pilgrimage, pay my respects. It was quite as bonkers as I'd imagined.



    The narration and the voices, most particularly Shadow (the main character), are perfect. It flows like honey and captivates quite as much as the words did upon first reading.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Northampton, United Kingdom 01/08/2012
    Craig Northampton, United Kingdom 01/08/2012 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    "Outstanding"

    Gripping tale filled with believable and engaging characters. It is clear that this was a work of love for Gaiman, one of my favourite books of all time.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miles Mansfield, United Kingdom 12/06/2013
    Miles Mansfield, United Kingdom 12/06/2013 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    "Just fantastic!"

    With the impending release of Neil Gaiman's new audiobook - 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane' (18th June 2013) - I thought it was worth quickly reviewing the best of his previous novels. Although Anansi Boys is great (especially once you get used to Lenny Henry doing the narration), American Gods remains his greatest novelistic and audiobook achievement.

    The story starts with Shadow getting out of prison a day early due to tragic circumstances. What follows is an odyssey into the heartland of America and the Gods who live there. While the book itself is a great read, the audio version really brings the text to life - Shadow's dry sense of humour; Wednesday's mischievousness. It's so good I'm actually envious of those people who have not yet had the pleasure of downloading it - if you're one of these people, download it NOW! You won't regret it.

    On a similar fantasy-related / magical-reality theme, I would also heartedly recommend the Peter Grant novels by Ben Aaronovitch - the everyday tell of your average bobby becoming the last apprentice of English magic. It is simply one of the best narrated books on Audible. Warning: be careful where you listen, however, you will undoubtedly get strange looks due to your laughing.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ant St Albans, United Kingdom 12/01/2014
    Ant St Albans, United Kingdom 12/01/2014 Member Since 2012

    I dance around and sing a song and know that I can do no wrong.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Weird and wonderful - a work of genius"

    I am a Neil Gaiman fan, so I'd pretty much bought into the writing style and the nature of the story up front. However, I think this is the book in which he gets everything right. It's a big book, but it's full of story, so it manages to pretty much sprint the marathon. There wasn't a time where I felt it lacked pace, or had to sit through setup text.
    The characters are flawed, but completely engaging. I found myself so interested in some of the gods that I would pause the story to do a little research.
    The narration is excellent and Neil's additions only add to tale.

    Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Paul Brown England 23/10/2013
    Mr. Paul Brown England 23/10/2013 Member Since 2013

    hix&hudson

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Abridge me"
    Where does American Gods rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Good but not great. The Ocean at the End of Lane is a superior narrative and much more cohesive and engaging


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The narrative is very rambling - and the interludes (which I imagine were cut from the first edition book) break up the already baggy narrative. When the threads come together it is satisfying enough

    Given how beautifully Neil Gaiman writes, I was disappointed that this is too indulgent and therefore only patchily gripping.


    What about Neil Gaiman and George Guidall ’s performance did you like?

    Absolutely brilliantly read - comes across like a play. The best narration of an audio book that I have heard


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Magical in places but overall impact greatly reduced by the indulgent bagginess


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend the Ocean at the End of Lane and this is good but just too long

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Stockwood, Bristol, United Kingdom 22/06/2013
    Janet Stockwood, Bristol, United Kingdom 22/06/2013 Member Since 2010
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    "Brilliant and Thought Provoking"

    I last listened to a Neil Gaiman children's book which I loved and happened to mention to my daughter. She recommended this. It is definitely not a children's book, there are fantastic images which will stay in my head forever. Somehow the unacceptable and unusual become the norm. The book raised questions I'd never asked before.

    Great experience. I think it did for me what the Hobbit did at age 10 and Titus Groan in my 20s. It is not How Green Was My Valley.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Okehampton, United Kingdom 19/06/2013
    Alison Okehampton, United Kingdom 19/06/2013 Member Since 2012

    I enjoy sci fi, fantasy, crime, historical fiction, young adult fiction ... Pretty much any fiction!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Original and memorable"

    Beautifully read this is a very unusual story that is unpredictable and intriguing. A great audiobook that I thoroughly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 55 results PREVIOUS126NEXT
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  • Ian
    Frankston South, Australia
    02/10/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Benchmark Title"

    An absolute modern classic book evolves into an absolute modern classic audiobook. Gaiman is one of my favourite authors (write more, damn you!) and American Gods is maybe his finest work. This is pretty much my favourite audiobook thus far.

    Faultless.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nathan
    PORIRUA, New Zealand
    23/06/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strange, slow moving, story"

    The characters in American Gods are interesting and the reading performance is superb. American Gods deals with the weird, the strange, and the unreal - all of which I like. However, I also like stuff to actually happen, and this novel kept me waiting too long between the main events. The plot was too slow moving for my liking. It kept me interested until the end, but only barely.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Sydney, Australia
    29/03/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"
    Would you listen to American Gods again? Why?

    Yes. Fascinating story, brilliant narration. What is not to like?


    What other book might you compare American Gods to and why?

    Master and Margarita. The only theme the two books share is of God/Devil doing crazy things in our world. Other than that, they are very different.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the scenes involving Mr. Ibis.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Spolier - Wednesday's death. I did not see that coming, and it left me feeling sad. I kept hoping it is a mistake, maybe the author will bring him back. He did in a sense, but not in the same way.


    Any additional comments?

    Kudos to the narrator. I have become a fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gill
    Palmerston North, New Zealand
    19/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Audio verses reading"
    Would you consider the audio edition of American Gods to be better than the print version?

    Im learning about the medium of audio books and It reminds me of radio plays when i was young. This is a different reading experience, and this book would have been slightly better for me in print, in order to follow the characters involved. Apart from that excellent in all respects, an inspired writer.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of American Gods?

    I like the believable blend of reality and fantasy - Like George McDonald (?) C S Lewis


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    Craighall Park, South Africa
    19/01/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book, read expertly"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Totally. American Gods is one of my favourite books, which is brought to life in this edition by Guidall.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    30/12/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfection in Story Telling"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book is one that will be recommended to anyone and everyone I think holds any interest in fantasy, mystery, superheroes, horror or just the peculiar and interesting.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of American Gods?

    Most mystery novels lack the ability to be read more than once. Not so with this book. There is so much that goes into this book, knowing the end would not distract from the powerful imagery, depth of exploration into myth, and the gripping character relationships. So much happens in this book that one listen would not be enough. I genuinely loved every moment of this well told story.


    What about Neil Gaiman and George Guidall ’s performance did you like?

    The reading is spot on that provides the right pacing for the story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Remove your shoes, this theatre is sacred ground.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sharon
    Brisbane, Australia
    28/12/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An interesting tale and well read"

    This is an interesting story and the narration is very well done. However I did not find the story to be moving and once over the initial premise it just plods along at a relaxed pace. So yes it was good, but not the brilliance I was expecting from the other reviews.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarandos
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    07/11/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Flawless!!"
    Any additional comments?

    American Gods has been an amazing book since the day it was published, but this 10th anniversary production has resulted in the best audiobook I have ever heard. Perfect narrators, flawless character voices, seamless production - all doing justice to as rich a story and set of characters as you could ever hope for - set in the beatifully crafted attic spaces of America that those of us who don't live there love to read about and imagine. Thank you Mr. Gaiman and all those who put this production together, this is a new standard in audiobooks and it has made my life richer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ratna
    Northam, Australia
    19/09/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant Listen"
    Any additional comments?

    Tight plot, great characters, very Neil Gaiman, some are definitely warped and disgusting, the bad guys/good guys interplay is clever, the spiritual journey personified, America is mocked in an offbeat way and as always Mr Gaiman, thank you for the magic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    12/07/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The best book I have ever listened to"

    This book was totally captivating. It is flawlessly constructed and very clever, without being unaccessably highbrow. Often when listening to audiobooks my mind will drift off elsewhere, but that didn't happen once during American Gods which is a huge compliment to the quality of Neil Gaiman's writing.
    Adding to the experience was the excellent performance of the narrator, George Guidall, whose voice for each character perfectly captured every one. I will be looking for more books where he has been the narrator - just excellent!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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