Customer Reviews for

American Gods

Average Rating 4.5
( 846 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 16 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

13 out of 25 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 November 8, 2012

    I'm not going to beat around the bush. I love Neil Gaiman. He cr

    I'm not going to beat around the bush. I love Neil Gaiman. He creates fantasies that are completely bizarre and engaging. The scenarios in his books are so well constructed that you can only marvel at his creative ability. American Gods is certainly no exception.

    It's been there years since Shadow was thrown in jail when he find out he's getting released early after his wife was killed in a car crash.

    On his way home for her funeral, he meets a man named Wednesday. Wednesday seems to know an awful lot about him and asks for Shadow's services as a man-of-all-work. When Shadow reluctantly agrees, he is quickly drawn into a world where the gods of mythology are very much alive.

    A war is brewing between the old gods, who were brought to America by those who settled the land, and the new gods of technology. Shadow must decide which side he's on and if it's a war that is really worth fighting.

    I have never read anything that I could confidently compare to Gaiman's work. He writes such a singular type of fantasy that I'm convinced it would be impossible for someone else to replicate. His novels are equal part fantasy and humor with some occasional horror and a hefty dash of action.

    American Gods has all of these qualities, along with an extremely interesting commentary on American culture. We are a country that worships screens -- computer screens, television screens, the screens of our phones. We rely on technology to get through daily life, and this book raises interesting questions about where we place our values.

    I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, mythology, or American culture. It has an incredible mixture of all three.

    1 out of 1 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.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    Dark and Depressing

    I stopped reading this book when I saw no "light" in the story. The use of filthy and derogatory language missed the mark and didn't make the story better. Maybe I should've kept reading to see if the ending justified the delivery method of the story, but it didn't seem worth the time.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    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 :)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2006

    Better as an adult graphic novel

    I read this book a long time ago, when it first was out. I found the title intriguing, and thus which led me to buying the book. I have to agree with the comments on here. It's a really good book, rich and full of color and descriptions, but I found it to be confusing. I didn't quite understand the whole story, though I got the impression that most of the events happen in Wisconsin. (I happen to be from Wisconsin.) The beginning is good, but the events moving towards the climax was quite confusing. I didn't quite understand the whole point of the story until I read the synopsis on here a few years later. I like the fact that the hero was an ex-convict, a perfect irony to the so-called heroes with high conviction. It's all right as a novel, but it's better as a graphic novel. If Neil Gaiman rewrote it into a graphic novel, I think I'll be able to appreciate the story more. I caution to those who want to read the book that it's fast paced, and if you have a vivid imagination, it can be a good book. If not, you could get lost in this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2004

    Interesting, but....

    Great idea for a story, but a little off somehow. There were times I thought it was one of the better books I had read in a while, and times when I almost put the book down and searched for a different book to read. This is the first Gaiman novel I've read, and it had enough positives that I'll try another... but it's not one that I would recommend as a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2002

    Not a memorable read

    The first four pages and the last four pages are the only parts of the whole book that capture attention. Everything in between is just to add thickness between the covers. The story begins with anticipation that this will be a good read but then just falls apart and each page becomes a struggle to finish. The characters are never truly developed and the introduction of each new character only creates more confusion as to what the author is attempting to write about. There is also very little continuity from page to page and the theme of the book is muddled and never clearly understood. In summary, this book was a total disappointment and not one that I would recommend to anyone.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2002

    American Gods

    This book was such a disopointment for me. I read, no - devoured Neverwhere. That is one spectaculare book. His latest does not compare in any light. After reading Neverwhere and stardust (which was good also, but not as good) I found out that American Gods was to be released in just months. I waited, every other day thinking about how great this book will be. The deadline came and went so I relied on my own; becoming a burden to my local bookdealer on a regulare basies, calling, inquiring when american gods was to hit the stands. Finaly! Trimbeling with inticipation I payed my 20 bucks for the hard back. As my eyes fell on the long awaited pages my thirst was temporarly placated. But around page 200 I realized this was not what i imagined it might be. Had I pumped it up so greatly in my mind that no actualizing could penitrate my expectations? I don't think so. I'm fully, and sanely aware that indeed this book is a rather timid story. But i have faith In Gaiman - faith he will produce something the world has not imagined posiable. It's in you Neil! No one creates a masterpiece like Neverwhere and duds out into obscurity!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2001

    not very exciting

    It's ok, at best. It's the kind of book you could easily put down and just walk away from for a week or two if you've got slightly better things to do. I'm sure I'm biased, but it was a bit too fantasy like for me, so I found myself disappointed in the way the plot took shape.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I was born in Wisconsin and spent every summer there until I was

    I was born in Wisconsin and spent every summer there until I was about 16. Many of the roadside attractions were favorite stops on the way up or on the way back home to Kansas. I vividly remember the House on the Rock on one such visit. 




    Growing up in Kansas the "geographical center" of the USA in Smith County was another familiar day trip. 




    From Chicago to Mt. Rushmore I have visited most of the places in the book and that made the story more interesting. 




    The premise of the story is original and compelling, a nice mix of mythology and magic from all around the world. It is the classic American melting pot told from a different point of view. 

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  • Posted August 1, 2013

    Love it! Simply could not put it down. Even bought the audiobook

    Love it! Simply could not put it down. Even bought the audiobook to enjoy it even more.:)

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  • Posted July 8, 2013

    American Gods presents the soul of modern day America against th

    American Gods presents the soul of modern day America against the back drop of America’s founding immigrants and the icons they built to their beliefs. Very entertaining. I highly recommend. 

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  • Posted July 6, 2013

    This was a great game of guess the god. They didn¿t all age espe

    This was a great game of guess the god. They didn’t all age especially well either. Odin, Queen of Sheba, Czernobog, Anansi, Horus, Anubis, Thoth, and even Kali are some of the old gods in this clever and funny novel. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Amazing!

    Amazing!

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  • Posted April 7, 2013

    I want to start off by saying that I loved this book. It capture

    I want to start off by saying that I loved this book. It captured my interest right away and kept it all the way through. I've been telling everyone about it and can't wait to get my hands on another book by Gaiman. The storyline is unique and off the wall and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Then there is the writing. Gaiman is a master of language. There are even passages I marked because I loved them so much and want to reread them again later. All that being said, I did not race through this book, but savored it. It took me a while to read because I didn't want to rush it..

    It is not only the writing that's intriguing, but the subject matter. Gaiman explores interesting issues and philosophies, the way our culture has changed since people started coming to North America, and even what has happened since. This all revolves around the gods - the ancient ones from the old country and the new one's of technology and money.

    Shadow is in jail for a bank robbery and, after three years, is going to be released. He has everything to live for, until he finds out that his wife and best friend (also his future employer) have been killed in a car accident. Shadow leaves jail and goes home, unsure of what he will do. Along the way he meets Mr. Wednesday, who offers him a job. It turns out that Wednesday is an old world god, trying to rally up other gods to fight the new world gods for survival.

    I don't want to say too much about this book because I don't want to give it away. There are so many twists and turns, rich explorations of ideas, and stunning writing, that it will keep you turning the pages.

    One of my favorite quotes (because I love books so much):

    “What I say is, a town isn't a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it's got a bookstore it knows it's not fooling a soul.”

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  • Posted September 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An engaging read that gives the reader heavier things to ponder.

    An engaging read that gives the reader heavier things to ponder.

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  • Posted June 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Example: Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    This was an extremely good book. It was very interesting with the whole take on new gods vs the old. It was an addicting read and had lots of twists and turns.

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  • Posted June 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I just recently discovered Gaiman, and really loved Neverwhere.

    I just recently discovered Gaiman, and really loved Neverwhere. I was a little apprehensive about American Gods after reading a few reviews here, but I forged ahead anyway, and I'm really glad I did. I found the book very interesting with solid characters. The story seems to have a long arc -- it doesn't bash you over the head with the point right away, rather I found it had gathered in my subconscious as I read and trickled to the conscious as I continued and the story developed.

    I was disappointed with the beginning of Chapter 18, and for the life of me I cannot figure out why it starts the way it does. While I was reading it I was angry and afraid that those four paragraphs would ruin the story for me, but I was able to get back into it, and the story finished very strong.

    The e-book version I bought has entries from Gaiman's online blog at the end of the novel, which I found very interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    I absolutely loved this book! It makes me sad to hear that other

    I absolutely loved this book! It makes me sad to hear that other people did not enjoy this book on the premise that it was ambiguous or confusing. This book is neither; it is subtle (which I find to be a rare and wonderful trait in literature these days) and richly crafted. I think were people get frustrated is in the fact that Gaiman does not talk down to his readers; he expects you to read every word carefully, and to put some thought into the experience. This is not a light read, but it is a wonderful and enriching one if you give it the time. Totally worth every penny, in my opinion! Gaiman is a genius.

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