Customer Reviews for

American Gods

Average Rating 4.5
( 883 )
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(528)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

As I pray to the God of the Internet...

This is one of those books that I simply COULD NOT put down. It's a great fantasy story as well as a wake up call to pay attention to everything around us. Gaiman fans will LOVE it. Also, read the sequel, Anansi Boys.

posted by Danibelle on April 19, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

16 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

Waste of time!

I don't know if I have ever reviewed a book on here before or not, but I was so disappointed with this one I had to give my 2 cents. This book took me FOREVER to read! If it wasn't for the fact that I owned it, I would have thrown in the towel long before I finally go...
I don't know if I have ever reviewed a book on here before or not, but I was so disappointed with this one I had to give my 2 cents. This book took me FOREVER to read! If it wasn't for the fact that I owned it, I would have thrown in the towel long before I finally got through it. Everyone hates it when they read a book that is extremely easy to put down and this is one of those. There were so many parts that I thought to myself that they would surely get tied together with the main story by the end....but no! This book was completely pointless, and although I like to own most/all of the books I read, I think this one may make its way to a garage sale or used book store becauseI wouldn't suggest it to anyone or ever read it again. The length wasn't completely overwhelming, but it was a long enough book that it made it all the more irritating at it's lack of point.....and for as long as it took me to read it it might as well have been 1,000 pages. And when the book finally reaches some sort of climax, it brushes over the events of some big battle instead of actually going over what happened....all build up and zero payoff!

posted by Anonymous on August 23, 2005

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  • Posted April 19, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    As I pray to the God of the Internet...

    This is one of those books that I simply COULD NOT put down. It's a great fantasy story as well as a wake up call to pay attention to everything around us. Gaiman fans will LOVE it. Also, read the sequel, Anansi Boys.

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2005

    Waste of time!

    I don't know if I have ever reviewed a book on here before or not, but I was so disappointed with this one I had to give my 2 cents. This book took me FOREVER to read! If it wasn't for the fact that I owned it, I would have thrown in the towel long before I finally got through it. Everyone hates it when they read a book that is extremely easy to put down and this is one of those. There were so many parts that I thought to myself that they would surely get tied together with the main story by the end....but no! This book was completely pointless, and although I like to own most/all of the books I read, I think this one may make its way to a garage sale or used book store becauseI wouldn't suggest it to anyone or ever read it again. The length wasn't completely overwhelming, but it was a long enough book that it made it all the more irritating at it's lack of point.....and for as long as it took me to read it it might as well have been 1,000 pages. And when the book finally reaches some sort of climax, it brushes over the events of some big battle instead of actually going over what happened....all build up and zero payoff!

    16 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Ugh!

    This book kept me hoping, as I turned each page, that something understandable was going to happen. Neil Gaiman had such a wonderful idea for this novel, but he never quite made it work. I struggled to figure out who these illusive "American Gods" were. Everything was too ambiguous and unsatisfying. I actually can't even believe I finished it. This is a book that will be donated to the library or Salvation Army.

    14 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

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    Phenomenal, Worth Every Bit of Praise

    From the first page, Neil Gaiman's character Shadow connects with the reader in a way that few books manage in several thousand words. The reader wonders why he is in jail, and why there is a storm coming. The plot quickly takes several surprising and dramatic turns, which serve to cement a firm hook in the reader that will last for the next 600 pages. Additionally, American God's has such a tangible setting. The words quickly form concrete images in the readers mind, which enables an amazing depth of immersion. Also, the plot is so carefully crafted that not a scene is wasted. When you read this book, you need to pay attention to everything that happens, because it will all be essential by the end of the book. Finally, the conflicts in this book are so well-seated in the American conciousness that it is easy for the reader to become heavily invested in the outcome. This is a book that will stay with you for weeks after you finish it, and it will affect everything that you read from here into the future.

    14 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2003

    Not At All What I Expected

    I guess I was expecting something more along the lines of Neverworld, which I adored. This book was a bit too graphic for me, not leaving enough to the imagination, and going too much for shock value. I bought it at a book sale, didn't finish it, and plan on donating it to the next book sale.

    14 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2009

    Interesting idea...not executed well...

    I got this book because it seemed like a very interesting idea for a novel and it had great reviews. I'm 2/3 of the way through the book and have completely lost interest in the novel. It seemed to start with a strong plot, but it seemed to slowly have fizzled out. I feel like there is no aim and it has left me wondering what the point of this story is. I think a lot of what i have read could have been left out. There are little stories at the end of almost every chapter, and i fail to see how those tie in to the actual plot of the book (although i can see how they fit the theme of the book). I was hoping things would start to tie together, but it doesnt seem to be happening, and i'm afraid i just cant finish this book. Its very rare for me to not finish a book...but it just seems to be going nowhere. The plot is rather weak, the characters get dull and dry, and you feel completely unattached to the story.

    10 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    Difficult to read, but artstically crafted

    Having read previous reviews of this book, I have to both agree and disagree with most of them. The novel is difficult to read on two levels. First, it is extremely graphic at times. It has several explicit sex scenes and lots of horrific violence. Second, it relies on a fragmented, piecemeal narrative that requires close concentration in order for the reader to "get" all of the interconnections. However, the novel is also very well crafted and makes several meaningful arguments about humanity and morality. Moreover, Shadow, the main character, is very compelling and likable. Due to the conflicting nature of my reactions to this novel, I found myself on the verge of putting it down several times, but in the end I was glad that I saw it through. The novel's depth and complexity overcame it's tendency to dwell on the brutal and grotesque elements of human nature.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2011

    Steeped in Sexual Intimacy

    The interesting premise of finding old gods in new lands is marred and scarred by the relentless description of sexual acts. Body parts are highlighted in careful detail. We were crazy about Gaiman's writing (Neverwhere, Coraline, Graveyard Book). We quit this one about 1/3 the way in, so disappointed.

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    American Gods by Neil Gaiman

    Recommended for: everyone from teen and up

    Highly Recommended!

    Not only is this a Neil Gaiman novel, but it involved mythological beings therefore I was eager to read it, but afraid to be disappointed. However, Neil Gaiman surpassed my expectations by not succumbing to his normal style of writing, and immersing into a narrative about the main character without betraying his private personality. He also doesn't waste time explaining who any of the supernatural characters are and it is not to be missed; you either know them or you don't. Neil Gaiman takes us on a road trip through midwest America and humanizes these gods, unraveling a story within stories which captures your interest as you delve more into the book. I don't want to spoil the fun of discovering the characters and the plots, so all I will say is, read it! It is worth it!

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent epic urban fantasy

    Shadow went to prison for beating up two men, but receives parole after three years of doing time. Because he is big and radiates a ¿don¿t mess¿ attitude, Shadow had no problems there. Two days before he is to be freed, the warden informs Shadow that his wife died and he can leave to make proper funeral arrangements. Shadow loved his wife and is rocked by the news. <P>When Mr. Wednesday arrives on the scene just before the funeral of Shadow¿s wife, the grieving ex-con welcomes the craziness that ensues. Mr. Wednesday is actually Odin and with the other ancient gods and mythical creatures walks the earth though no one believes in them anymore. Mr. Wednesday and cohorts are growing weaker and he wants to make one last confrontation for the hearts of Americans. <P> Neil Gaiman uses flashbacks to show how leprechauns, Odin, pixies other creatures of myth and legend other came to the New World. They traveled here in the hearts and souls of the immigrants. This pure epic urban fantasy demonstrates why Mr. Gaiman remains the grandmaster of the sub-genre. The Old Ones need people to believe in them again, but doubt they can achieve their noble objective. The climax is incredibly original so that no one will guess what will happen. AMERICAN GODS might prove to be the fantasy tale of 2001 as it is already that of the midpoint. <P>Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2009

    Lost

    I was a little lost in this book. Its a kind of Stephen King meets "Twin Peaks" meets "the golden bough". I really wanted to like this but it seemed to meander about with so many characters that sounded the same and talked in the glib hardboiled King way that I could not distinguish them all the time or remember where we met them the first time. However Shadow was an interesting character and the slapstick of his Herbert West-like wife was good. There was some "page-turning" interest in parts especially in the Silverlake(?) & hinzellman scenes but it was painful in many other parts.

    This was a dark fantasy that tried to be sometimes light-hearted in a Kingish kind of way that ended up being sporadically annoying.

    This is the only novel I have read by Gaiman and I appreciate the respect he holds for the classic sci-fi and high fantasy authors (Cabell and Mirlees) so I think I will read something else by him despite this harsh review.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2001

    Were is Neverwhere

    I have read most everything by Neil Gaiman. And I have met him and talked to him, a very gracious human being. But when I look and read this book, his new one that is American Gods, I don't seem to be able to get into it like I did with Neverwhere, which is excellent. HIs previous book before American Gods, I think it was Star...something,I bought it anyways, read 1/3 of it, and it laid about for awhile, I tried to read it again, and again I just couldn't get into it, like this one. Sorry Neil, but Neverwhere is your best.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An outstanding read

    Neil Gaiman has established himself as one of the finest writers to grace us in the modern century. American Gods is an epic book, where within minutes belief is suspended and one becomes immersed in a story influenced by other stories old and new.

    The plot moves at freight train speed, with breakneck turns and whipping highs and lows, all centered with a most alluring protagonist: Shadow is an enigma, wrapped in a dangerous past and possessing incredible loyalty.

    I could gush all day at this fantastic read, but the best thing to do is pick it up, immerse yourself, and ever after glance about with the thought that gods may in fact live, breathe, and suffer along with the rest of us. GREAT BOOK!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2014

    Had to give up

    Love the concept. Good writing. Characters are fantastic BUT after 280 pages of feeling like I was reading a travel journal I gave up. I like books that tell a story and so far this one is more interested in the backgrounds of it's minor characters,which the main character meets every ten pages, than the actual plot. Very unfocused and frustrating to read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2010

    Worth reading

    This is a good adventure story that forces you to look at Gods in a new way. It has good Character development, many good twists and I was amazed when all elements of the plot were brought together in the end. If you like stories that include adventure, changing relationships, love, and war you will enjoy this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2010

    VERY INNOVATIVE

    I had heard about Gaiman, but never read one of his works. AMERICAN GODS is a good blend of real life and fantasy, done in a unique and interesting manner. The story moves along swiftly, and the descriptions of the numerous and varied gods is fascinating and informative (clearly, a significant amount of research went into the writing). I would recommend this to anyone interested in fantasy works, but I'm not positive it would have a broader appeal.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent read!

    From the moment I picked up this book, I was struck by the author's writing style, and although I had never previously read anything by Neil Gaiman, there was a familiarity that sucked me in. I soon realized that the familiarity was a combination of good literature and a modern point of view that encapsulated my own interest in religions and popular culture. The characters and tales woven into the pages, tales of gods of the old world and gods of modern times, were so well developed and so carefully intertwined, I couldn't wait to return to the book each time I set it down. American Gods is a wild ride across the American landscape, touching down in familiar places and taking you to the realm of the gods. Highly recommended.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    An adult story that was fasinating and challenging

    Gaiman is a gifted story teller along the lines of Stephen King. In American Gods, he pulls characters from the mythologies of Europe and Native America. He also, challenges the stereotypical view that the true American God is greed and power.
    This is a dark tale of discovery, but the journey is well worth it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Review of American God's by Neil Gaiman.

    The novel is a blend of Americana, fantasy, and various strands of ancient and modern mythology, all centering on a mysterious and taciturn protagonist, Shadow.

    The central concept is that gods and mythological creatures exist because people believe in them. Immigrants to the United States brought dwarfs, elves, leprechauns, and other spirits and gods with them, but their power is diminished as people's beliefs wane. New gods have arisen, reflecting America's obsessions with media, celebrity, technology, and illegal drugs, among others.

    Various real-life towns and tourist attractions, including the House on the Rock (and its 'world's largest carousel') and Rock City, are featured through the course of the book. Gaiman states in an introduction that he has obscured the precise location of some actual locales.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

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    Crazy!

    When I read this book I had only read a couple fantasy-genre books. None of them were 'weird' though. This was my first fantasy book with strange characters and things like that. What an adventure!!! Neil Gaiman is able to twist dark humor, romance, thrills, adventure and fun all into one GREAT book! You never know what is going to happen next. The best part to me though, is that even though crazy things are happening all the time in this novel, the story is actually quite simple. It is beautifully and naturally written. All of Gaiman's books are.
    Read this before Anansi Boys. But be sure to read them both :)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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