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Mass Market Paperback American Gods Book

ISBN: 0380789035

ISBN13: 9780380789030

American Gods

(Book #1 in the American Gods Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Good*

*Best Available: (missing dust jacket)

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Book Overview

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman, a contemporary masterpiece combing mythology, adventure, and illusion―one of ten classic Gaiman works repackaged with elegant original... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

10 ratings


Enjoyed this novel from beginning to end. I would recommend diving into it with no foreknowledge and enjoying the ride. Gaiman crafts a richly painted world full of interesting characters, that I looked forward to exploring more every evening. Highly recommend

Up there as one of the most creative books ever written!

A friend turned me on to Gaiman, and, Thanks! Innovative, fascinating story, holds your fascination and leaves you wanting more. Imaginative, like nothing else you have ever read, relies on intelligence rather than shock. Read it!

One of the best books I’ve ever read

It’s one of my favorite books. Like a book on anti gravity, I could not put it down.

One of my favorite books of all time

Old gods vs. New gods. What's not to love?

Excellent read

This is the first Neil Gaiman book I had read and wasn't sure I'd be into it with the Greek mythology. I finished it in 5 days and absolutely loved the story and the way it was told. Neil Gaiman is a fantastic writer and I will be reading more of his work since I've bought a few more of his books.

A Favorite!

Urban Fantasy on steroids! Loved every page, loved every character, absolutely love the way Neil Gaiman can keep your head spinning from one scene to the next!

Original Fantasy

American Gods is the rarest of creatures: a literate, witty, mordant, and moving contemporary fantasy novel. Yes, its pace is studied rather than frantic, its tone cool and thoughtful rather than histrionic, but the patient reader will be amply rewarded by Gaiman's carefully plotted and beautifully written tale of Old World dieties struggling for survival and relevance in 21st century America.Gaiman has taken the essence of his gemlike short stories and blown it up into a genuine epic. Much more so than the entertaining but somewhat sparse Neverwhere, American Gods uses the novel's length and format to build power, even as its structure allows Gaiman to deploy a handful of strking short tales within it.Anyone who has enjoyed Gaiman's previous work, or the contemporary fantasy of Clive Barker, Tim Powers, Roger Zelazny, or Kim Newman, is likely to enjoy this excellent book.

Clive Barker and Stephen King fans - check this out!

There are only a handful of authors that consistently push the boundary of "imaginative" fiction, that every time I hear of the emergence of a "truly new talent" I'm really skeptical. Neil Gaiman, however, has completely won me over, and American Gods was a real eye opener in many ways.It's the story of a completely rootless, and emotionally impoverished "regular guy," freshly paroled from prison only to discover that the life he's longed for in the joint has been totally annihilated with the unexpected death of his wife. At loose ends, he meets a mysterious, burly traveler who offers him a job on the spot, which Shadow (our hero) declines. As Shadow discovers not only that his wife is dead, but was killed during a sexual liason with his best friend and former employer, the tiny flame of emotion, so carefully guarded and cared for in prison, is snuffed out. The mystery employer, introducing himself as Mr. Wednesday, reappears to press his case once again, and this time Shadow takes him up on it.Shadow is brought into a weird, orbiting subculture of seemingly everyday people, living on the fringes of American life. Each seems oddly familiar to him - as they will seem to you. And slowly, Shadow begins to realize the scale and scope of what he has become involved in - an impending battle between the scattered, ancient gods of immigrants and slaves, and the emerging gods of the American cultural and technological revolution.For me, simply the amount of creativity put into the plot makes this a terrific read; but add to that Gaiman's craft of description and narrative - very stylish and stark - that combination makes American Gods a real treat. Ordinarily, I might observe that a hero with only a hole for a heart is hard to identify with, but Shadow isn't really heartless, you discover as the story progresses, and Gaiman does a great job of slowly bringing the reader along for the ride, with a boatload of creative plotwork along the way.Neil Gaiman has placed himself outside of the current state of fantasy or horror - forgoing Clive Barker's tendency for cheap thrills, and Stephen King's dense description for a more economical style that describes in shadows and light, with occasional vivid color. American Gods is a well-crafted and imaginative trip behind the scenes in a land whose gods are as vulnerable as the people themselves.

"This Is a Bad Place For Gods..."

Released from prison shortly after the accidental death of his wife, ex-con Shadow finds himself free, but bereft of all the things that gave his previous life meaning. As he bids his farewell to the fragments of that life, an eerie stranger named Mr. Wednesday offers him employment. Wednesday needs someone to act as aid, driver, errand boy, and, in case of Wednesday's death, someone to hold a vigil for him. Shadow consents and finds himself drawn unsuspectingly into a cryptic reality where myth and legend coexist with today's realities.Mr. Wednesday, trickster and wise man, is on a quest. The old gods who came over to this country with each human incursion have weakened as their followers have dwindled and are now threatened with extinction by the modern gods of technology and marketing. Wednesday travels from deity to deity, rounding up help for what will be last battle. He engages ancient Russian gods, Norse legends, Egyptian deities, and countless others who have found their way to America in the past 10,000 or so years. Shadow never quite understands what his role is in all of this, but he experiences visions and dreams which promise that he is far more than Wednesday's factotum.The plot is unendingly inventive as it treks its way across the country. From Chicago to Rhode Island, and Seattle to the magical town of Lakeside, Shadow's journey seems to follow the back roads of America. The people he meets are gritty, and the gods are even grittier. Gaiman creates believable characters with quick brush strokes and builds vivid landscapes that belie their mundane origins. Gaiman, recently moved to the U.S. has invited us along on his own quest to discover an America uniquely his own.This is a novel that resonates at many levels, it is Shadow's initiation quest, Gaiman's search for the American identity, a revisionist Twilight of the Gods, and last, but not least a captivating piece of fiction. The gods that people this story came with people who found their way to this country from almost every time and place. Gaiman has put his finger on once of this country's greatest truths. Every person who ever lived here has roots from somewhere else. We have crossed oceans and land bridges, on foot, and by every other means of transportation. Our culture has been created whole cloth out of the character and beliefs of all those people. Gaiman has managed to capture a bit of that vision and put it on display for the reader.After his superb work in "Neverwhere," "Stardust," and the Sandman graphic novels, Neil Gaimon has established himself a force to be reckoned with in the crossover horror/fantasy genre. Now with his new novel Gaiman establishes his mastery in a remarkable story of quest and transformation as he comes to terms with his own vision of America. "American Gods" defies classification and invites superlatives. This is one of 2001's must reads.

Got me through a tough week

Earlier this week, I got hit with an unpleasant medical diagnosis. Serious surgery involving sharp knives in proximity to my spinal cord looms in my near-future. None of the writers who normally distract me from my troubles were of any use: not Stephen King, not Jack Finney; Garrison Keillor and Bill Bryson couldn't get a smile out of me. And then, American Gods showed up. I'd quite forgotten I pre-ordered it. For the past two months, I have been in too much pain to sit for any length of time, but when the book came I sat right down and started reading. And was feeling no pain. Just my old pals, Awe and Wonder.That's the best thing I know to say about a book. It helped me through my pain. Thanks, Neil.

American Gods Mentions in Our Blog

American Gods in 13 Days of Horror!
13 Days of Horror!
Published by Terry Fleming • September 30, 2023
Hello Boils and Ghouls! The Thrift Keeper here (named for my devilish ability to find the Best Bargains among Blood-Curdling titles!), and today I’d like to talk to you about the importance of OCTOBER. For the first 13 days of this most gruesome of months (yes, leading up to Friday the 13th), ReadingRewards members will get DOUBLE POINTS on ALL THE BOOKS by the thirteen authors listed below. And as a means of KICKING OFF this promotion, I decided to provide some FUN FACTS for each of our featured, sinister scribes…
American Gods in 20 Great Album-Book Combos
20 Great Album-Book Combos
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • April 20, 2023

Find the perfect music to complement your reading experience? Or vice-versa! Here are twenty vinyl albums (worth double points from now until 4/23) with a reading recommendation for each.

American Gods in A SCARE-lariously Baleful History of Horror
A SCARE-lariously Baleful History of Horror
Published by Terry Fleming • September 27, 2022

Hello BOILS and GHOULS, and WELCOME to the ThriftBooks Grand Historical Tour of the Horror Genre! I'll be your guide for the evening, the THRIFT KEEPER (named for my devilish ability to find the Best Bargains among Blood-Curdling titles!), here to lead you towards some scintillatingly sinister selections.

American Gods in 'The Sandman' Finally Makes it to the Screen
'The Sandman' Finally Makes it to the Screen
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • August 16, 2022

It's been a long wait for fans of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, but finally the Netflix adaptation is here and it's so good! The show really captures the dark, seductive magic of Gaiman's beloved comic book series. Read on for seven captivating facts about the author.

American Gods in 7 Road Trip Stories for "Read a Road Map" Day
7 Road Trip Stories for "Read a Road Map" Day
Published by Bianca Smith • April 05, 2018
Good or bad, enjoy the road trip adventure in these novels.
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