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Summary

American Gods, the extraordinary, highly acclaimed epic audiobook from storytelling genius and international bestseller Neil Gaiman, comes vividly to life this May in the hottest major TV show of 2017. Praised by Empire as 'something very special', the series will be shown in the UK on Amazon Prime Video and stars Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning and Gillian Anderson.

If you are to survive, you must believe.

Shadow Moon has served his time. But hours before his release from prison, his beloved wife is killed in a freak accident. Dazed, he boards a plane home where he meets the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who professes both to know Shadow and to be king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange road trip across the USA, encountering a kaleidoscopic cast of characters along the way. Yet all around them a storm threatens to break.

The war has already begun, an epic struggle for the very soul of America, and Shadow is standing squarely in its path.

©2001 Neil Gaiman (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"Gaiman is a treasure-house of story and we are lucky to have him." (Stephen King)
"Original, engrossing, and endlessly inventive, a picaresque journey across America where the travelers are even stranger than the roadside attractions." (George R. R. Martin)
"Gaiman has a rich imagination...and an ability to tackle large themes." (Philip Pullman)
"A very fine and imaginative writer." ( The Times)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

This book has got character!

Mystifyingly captivating despite tenuous ramblings from time to time. It's an imaginative American road trip but which gives you a real sense of the people and places along the spiritual way. A story I doubt I will forget.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Miles
  • Mansfield, United Kingdom
  • 12-06-13

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.

53 of 58 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Original and memorable

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

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Brilliantly written but just plods along

I can't help but feel more should've happened in this book or more explanation. The characters are great and the world they live in but I don't know. It just.... lacked. Its a shame cause the audio is amazing. Different actors for every voice and each great. I hope this becomes the benchmark for audiobooks. It really is a great performance but as I said the story just isn't all there for me.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • Sowerby Bridge, United Kingdom
  • 07-04-13

My new favourite book

I'd listened to the Anansi Boys narrated by Lenny Henry and loved it, knowing at the time that it was vaguely connected to American Gods, but Lenny was the draw.



Don't know why but I wasn't particularly drawn to American Gods, but after constant recommendations I thought I'd seek out the audiobook. Initially I was put off by the reviews regarding the narration, but decided to proceed with caution.



The narration is perfect for the book and kept me entertained from chapter to chapter, an absolute pleasure to listen too.



The story itself is so full personality. I became attached to many of the characters, but none more so than Shadow. I was upset when it ended and I hope to enter into that world again soon.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Superbly performed, but pointless

I really struggled with this audiobook, eventually I got just past halfway and then gave up.

Not that the story is in any way badly written, indeed it is splendidly written and the narration is probably the best I have heard of Audible with an excellent cast. However this has not been enough to recover the meandering and seemingly pointless story.

It got to halfway through and I was not even sure of what was happening or indeed whether the story was going anywhere. The book had a very promising start and seemed to introduce some very interesting characters, though after a while it just felt that the characters were moving around pointlessly. The deciding factor for me was that by halfway I had no clue what was going on at all and much more than this, I didn't care.

Perhaps this is a book that you really need to focus on, though since I do most of my listening either at the gym or in the car, it's perhaps too involved for my taste.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Amazing!!

Would you listen to American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production) again? Why?

Yes!! Definitely. It was such a joy to listen to it i'd love to do it again. I read the book years ago and always wanted to reread it because I loved the story. Now I can do it easily with audible.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There are too many characters to pick! It's a huge cast. And quite often you'd find yourself liking a character and then a twist! and you'd see them in another light.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I loved the whole book but in particular with this audible edition I enjoyed the little bits narrated by Neil Gaiman. The bits that weren't really connected to the plot, but did have relevance to it. I just love listening to Neil Gaiman. And those bits were gold.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I found it very difficult to stop, yes. It's a long book so was pretty impossible to listen to in one sitting, but i'd find myself cleaning the house just to listen to a bit more of it.

Any additional comments?

It's about the Gods of old, and the new Gods, and them trying to survive altogether in America. And about one guy, Shadow, who gets mixed up in all of it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Ant
  • St Albans, United Kingdom
  • 12-01-14

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.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Craig
  • Northampton, United Kingdom
  • 01-08-12

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.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian
  • 02-10-12

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • 14-05-15

Best audio book I've ever listened to

The story is great obviously.

But the cast is what makes this audiobook so memorable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarandos
  • 07-11-12

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Henry Hamster
  • 12-09-16

fantastic

incredible audiobook, varied cast and amazing voice acting performances really make this a stand out experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Luke
  • 04-09-16

brilliant story, thrilling characters

Very deep and detailed story of a man finding himself again after being in prison --- but finding so much more as he gets involved with the gods. Amazing pictures of myth and legend, happening today.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-04-16

Breathtaking!

One of the best books I've ever written. The best part of the book (for me) was when Shadow was tied up on the tree - I could visualise everything and felt like I was right there with him experiencing every single thing he was going through.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr
  • 11-09-18

Absolute MUST READ

Somehow I hadn’t heard of this book until a week ago. I found it in my Audible recommendations. I was intrigued the moment I read the review. The moment I started the book I was completely enveloped in an amazing world. A world which seemed to make as much sense as all the other popular alternatives. Full of rich humour, suspense, intrigue, twists, and imagination. Don’t miss this one.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-09-18

This book is amazing. I love it so much.

This book will forever change how I think about gods. I loved every part of it and I am sad that it is over.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • The Lovely Rod
  • 30-08-18

Sensational

The audiobook is easier to follow than the TV series (which I also loved) because - like most books - we get to know and understand the characters and their motivations much better. This is a fantastic and fantastical story. The multple narrators help keep the plots and characters clear. They also enhance the audiobook by keeping it fresh. If you're not used to longe audiobooks, then one like this - almost 20 hours - can be a bit daunting, particularly with a single-voice narration.
I loved this book and everything about the narration. Highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-06-18

excellent performances, very well written

a sweeping, rambling, soothing and yet never boring book. I very much enjoyed it. the different voices for the different characters are excellent.