Customer Reviews for

American Gods

Average Rating 4.5
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(28)

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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

15 out of 28 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 8, 2012

    Gods are people

    Gods are people too, and Neil Gaiman makes them interesting as well. The story has everything a comedic thriller has plus mythology tossed in for flavor. No plot synopsis will do justice just find the time to sink into a slightly tilted world and be carried away.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Amaizing imagination and deeply thought out.

    None

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2011

    Fun reaf

    Found it a little hard to follow at times, but an interesting tale nonetheless.

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    Very Good Book, If Uneven at Times

    First off, I have to say that this is not really a book for everyone. Gaiman, who crafted some excellent stories steeped in mythological tropes during his epic Sandman run for DC Comics' Vertigo line, continues his "long form" storytelling here, in which bits and pieces at the beginning eventually snowball into larger and more important elements later on in the narrative.

    At times, however, it seems to be a little too obtuse. Having familiarity with Egyptian and Norse and other mythology myself, I could not help but think during certain parts of the book that some things would be a little frustrating to a reader without any familiarity, as sometimes the pay off was a little slow in the coming. In that respect, it may come off as a little inaccessible to some readers, who may not be willing to be confused for 50-100 pages before a certain reveal. For example, as soon as one of the leads called himself Wednesday and was said to have one glass eye, I knew immediately who he was, while the narrative waited for some time on outright saying it, including through some frustrating teases.

    But that is really just hypothetical on my part; as I said, I am merely imagining what some parts may have been like for those with zero familiarity with some of the main gods in certain pantheons. Perhaps those people would not have an issue, I cannot speak for everyone.

    As for the plot, it does tend to move fast and the main character, Shadow, has this almost Everyman quality to him and while at first you question why he goes along with Wednesday's machinations and takes such insanity in stride, you eventually come to realize that he is making all the right choices.

    The basic plot, and this is very stripped down for the sake of those who have not read it, is that the old gods, having been brought to America by the memories and traditions of immigrants from far away lands, are being forgotten as time goes on, the melting pot of America being less conducive to their existence and the new gods of technology and the like are taking their place.

    As such, a "war" between the sides, the new guard versus those who do not wish to be forgotten, exists and it's Shadow who plays perhaps the largest role.

    While the main narrative is engaging, the biggest place the story fails is in little "Coming to America" passages that detail how a particular old god has found him or herself in the New World. While the intention is understandable, such places largely grind the book to a halt and sometimes go on for far too long which is especially frustrating because almost none of the characters mentioned ever appear in the book elsewhere.

    But, overall, the book is a great read and the epilogue has an excellent and deep philosophical statement that, unfortunately, I cannot reveal because it would kill the whole book.

    Just know that the final scene's dialogue is worth the wait.

    And as far as being something used for discussion, there is a lot that can be said for new/old god dynamic in a country such as America, which in some respects is an amalgamation of cultures as much as it is one in and of itself.

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  • Posted October 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful Book

    I know it kinda goes without saying, but Neil Gaiman is himself a GOD. His writting is amazing and he is definitley one of my favorites novelists.

    This book in particular was so interesting the way he drew from ancient mythologies to create to beautiful commentary on the way modern society exists.

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Strange, strange stuff

    Definitely strange, but surprisingly good. Not for the unimaginative.

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  • Posted April 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Where have the Gods gone?

    This is an intriguing study of American Ideology from the perspective of an outsider looking in. The author is an immigrant to the USA so he provides an interesting insight to the culture of this country as seen from his perspective. It is truly an interesting read.

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    Unique, but totally Gaiman

    Gaiman has created a world that is both familiar and strange, realistic and fanastic and gives us the sense that the world of deities and the supernatural are everpresent but just beyond our usual range of perception. Those familiar with world mythology will recognize many of the characters brought to life here, but come to know them in more personal and intimate ways than in the 'old stories'. If you know Gaiman's work from his junior-fiction work -- Wolves in the Walls, Coraline, Graveyard Book -- some of the passages that are more mature and sexually explicit may come as a surprise.

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The first few chapters were intriguing....!

    I expected the book to hold onto my interest enough to not put the book down but... I did several times -- I mostly read before going to bed... the mystery and intrigue about Shadow were established early on but then I felt like he suddenly fell a bit flat as a character.

    It did take me on a journey; it didn't delve too deeply into the realm of GODS as I had expected or kind of hoped. I wasn't really certain where the book was headed with that notion -- and that was two-thirds of the way into it... BUT... I liked SHADOW.. so I kept reading because I just HAD TO KNOW what was going on...it did regain my interest in the last few chapters but.. sure took a while to get that back!

    I like Neil Gaiman -- I began reading his graphic novel series of SANDMAN -- very intriguing to me so I figured it would be worthwhile to see how he carried that mindset into literature. It wasn't awful but.. seemed to drag in parts, with names I really had no way of knowing if they actually belonged to Gods.... but he was good at detailing elements of the trips taken by SHADOW...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2009

    If you love mythology, you'll love this book.

    You'll have fun trying to figure out who the characters are meant to be. Neil Gaiman is an entertaining writer. When you're done, read his Anansi Boys.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Loved this book

    As usual, Gaiman draws together a colorful and creative mix of characters and a interesting perspective on human nature. It is fast paced and fun to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2008

    A reviewer

    What a wonderful read. I have never been drawn to mythology or any genre that involves gods of any type which left me at a disadvantage for fully understanding some of the characters. I still didn't have a problem following the story. It was a smooth, captivating read and kept me curious throughout. The world wide web helped me when I needed to know the background of some of the characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2007

    WOW

    This was a great story... But what a looping way of making a point..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2006

    Thought-Provoking and Exciting

    American Gods is the second book of Neil Gaiman's that I have read, and it did not disappoint me. In most aspects, anyway. The book doesn't exactly run smoothly, and I would have to say that the book is probably the most confusing book I have ever read. But I think that's what Neil was trying to do, in some ways. Especially interesting are the short stories that end some of the chapters. The dialogue is as realistic as they come, and the plot, which is original in every way thinkable, is downright gripping. Overall, a great read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2005

    A great read though not Gaiman's best

    It was more fun and light than i expected. Gaiman's humor is subtle and his imagination doesn't seem to work as well in novels as in comics but if you're accustomed to his writing its quite wonderful. His graphic novels are better though and he writes novels in the way a man who is used to having pictures next to his words would. But all in all, it is a great display of imagination in a modern epic of good vs. a questionable evil.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2003

    STRANGELY ABSORBING

    I found this book after looking at the Hugo Award list. At first it didn't appear like a novel that I'd be interested in, but the reviews talked me into it. I wasn't disappointed. It was strange to say the least and I found myself reading entire pages twice at times to make sure that I had comprehended accurately. It turned out surprisinly absorbing. It made enough of an impression on me that I bought another Gaiman, Neverwhere. So far I'm happy with that as well.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2003

    Interesting but a little dissappointing

    This is an incredible book. While Shadow dissappointed me a few times by not doing what I would have wanted, he was a fascinating character. Wednesday dissappointed me at the end (to all who have already read it, you know when...) but the book itself is incredible and the insights it divulges are extremely poignant.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2003

    It won me over.

    Isaw this book on the shelf time again, each time passing it over. I'd no interest in the Sci-Fi genre. I broke down and bought it. I was drawn in. I always thought I was the only one who wondered what ever happened to the gods when people stopped believing in them or replaced them with the latest and greatest. I sympathized with Shadow, though never pitied him. I don't envy him his journey, but the discoveries he made! After this book I went out and bought the rest of N.Gaiman's works. I continue to seek out Sci-Fi. This book,this story, these characters-they all won me over

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2003

    wild and wicked

    This book really freaked me out, I can imagine that I work with gods, know them but really dont, as Shadow did. I think this book should be a book that all high school kids should read, must read. The imagination is beyond belief. This book has really made me think about what is important in life, not religion especially, but those whom you love. Also those you don't. Facinating read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2002

    Good But Not Great

    I'd been somewhat familiar with Neil Gaiman's work thru reading the Sandman comic, so I had a vague idea of what to expect as far as his writing went. However, this is the first of his novels that I've read. Like my title says, it was good, but not great. Shadow is a very likable character, and I enjoyed his interaction with the other characters in the book, especially Wednesday. Unfortunately, the book bogged down otherwise. Gaimen for some reason felt the need to insert "sidebar" stories (for lack of a better term) into the novel. I guess they were meant to provide a little more background to the various gods and the gods traveling to the new world premise. I found them to be a distraction though and thought they added little value to the overall story. That said, I enjoyed the main story very much. My only problem was with the pacing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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