American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel

Neil Gaiman
Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text. A modern masterpiece from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman.First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Washington Post) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is the story of Shadow—released from prison just days after his wife and best friend are killed in an accident—who gets recruited to be bodyguard, driver, and errand boy for the enigmatic trickster, Mr. Wednesday. So begins Shadow’s dark and strange road trip, one that introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. For, beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and Shadow is standing squarely in its path.“Pointed, occasionally comic, often scary, consistently moving and provocative….American Gods is strewn with secrets and magical visions.”—USA Today“Original, engrossing, and endlessly inventive.”—George R. R. Martin

Reviews

Reviewed: 2019-11-13

An American Giant

***½ stars

 

Sometimes the best journeys are the longest. When it comes to reading longer books I usually try to avoid them. I begin reading a book and eventually I become bored but I refuse to give up. I tell myself that I just need to keep reading, and eventually, it’ll get better. When it came to reading American Gods I never had that issue. All 742 pages of the book flew by. Each page smoothly transferred to the next. I never found myself becoming bored with the story and having to tell myself that I need to read. I just picked up the book and read it. At times it did feel like the story was never going to end, but I was fine with this. Now, I’m the type of reader that can just sit down and read for an hour, and I enjoy that. But if you’re the type of reader that prefers a quick story, then this isn’t the book.

When American Gods first begins, you’re introduced to the main character Shadow. Shadow is a quiet guy that is just trying to serve his time in prison who has already served three years. Shadow receives the terrible news that his wife has passed away from a car crash. But in turn, he learns that he is released early from prison. As Shadow makes his way home so that he can mourn his wife’s death, and try to return to a normal life, Shadow comes across a not so normal man that goes by the name of Mr. Wednesday. Mr. Wednesday makes Shadow an offer to work for him and he refuses to take no as an answer. Eventually, Shadow takes the job, and that’s when things start to roll. We learn that Mr. Wednesday, along with most of the other characters that we meet along the journey, happen to be some sort of god, and Shadow has a special role in an upcoming war, that I’m not going to spoil. The way that Gaiman is able to make such a long story but leaves you wanting to turn the page and keep on reading surprises me. I’m not going to lie, it took me a good while to finish reading American Gods. Yet when I finished reading the book, it felt as if time flew. I also felt whole. I never found myself questioning the ending or asking for more. I’m impressed with how Gaiman handled the long story. I ended up looking more into Neil Gaiman and his work, and it turns out that he has many more successes. I intend to read more of his work, and if this is your first Gaiman book, I highly recommend that you read it as well.               Jacob Perdigon '19

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