American Gods / Edition 1

American Gods / Edition 1

4.3 865
by Neil Gaiman

ISBN-10: 0060558121

ISBN-13: 2900060558122

Pub. Date: 08/14/2003

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

A master of inventive fiction, Neil Gaiman delves into the murky depths where reality and imagination meet. Now in American Gods, he works his literary magic to extraordinary results.

Shadow dreamed of nothing but leaving prison and starting a new life. But the day before his release, his wife and best friend are killed in an accident. On the plane home to

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A master of inventive fiction, Neil Gaiman delves into the murky depths where reality and imagination meet. Now in American Gods, he works his literary magic to extraordinary results.

Shadow dreamed of nothing but leaving prison and starting a new life. But the day before his release, his wife and best friend are killed in an accident. On the plane home to the funeral, he meets Mr. Wednesday—a beguiling stranger who seems to know everything about him. A trickster and rogue, Mr. Wednesday offers Shadow a job as his bodyguard. With nowhere left to go, Shadow accepts, and soon learns that his role in Mr. Wednesday's schemes will be far more dangerous and dark than he could have ever imagined. For beneath the placid surface of everyday life a war is being fought—and the prize is the very soul of America.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Harper Perennial
Edition description:

Table of Contents


Introducción a la Edición X Aniversario,
Sobre la presente edición,
Aviso para navegantes,
Primera Parte Sombras,
Capítulo uno,
En algún lugar de Estados Unidos,
Capítulo dos,
Capítulo tres,
Desembarco en América,
Capítulo cuatro,
El desembarco en Estados Unidos,
Capítulo cinco,
Capítulo seis,
Capítulo siete,
En algún lugar de Estados Unidos,
Capítulo ocho,
Segunda Partem Mi Ainsel,
Capítulo nueve,
Mientras tanto, una conversación,
Capítulo diez,
Capítulo once,
Desembarco en los Estados Unidos,
Capítulo doce,
Interludio 2,
Interludio 3,
Capítulo trece,
El desembarco en América,
Tercera Parte El momento de la tormenta,
Capítulo catorce,
Capítulo quince,
Capítulo dieciséis,
Capítulo diecisiete,
Capítulo dieciocho,
Cuarta Parte Epílogo: algo que los muertos no nos revelan,
Capítulo diecinueve,
Capítulo veinte,
¿Cómo te atreves?,
Una entrevista con Neil Gaiman,

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American Gods 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 865 reviews.
Danibelle More than 1 year ago
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.
oraymw More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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.

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.

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.

Harriet Klausner

horvendile More than 1 year ago
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.
Fagelman More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Annibebe More than 1 year ago
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.
wolfsbane82 More than 1 year ago
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.
MRBNYC More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Priscamor More than 1 year ago
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!
Reiner More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading Neverwhere I was an instant Gaiman fan. That book was outstanding and I read it cover to cover in about 2 days. I guess my expectations for American Gods was quite high. In the end, I didnt really care about any of the characters. Shadow was an interesting protagonist, but not one that I could relate too, or understand. His actions were unexpected in teh beginning, but by the end pretty predictable. The plot twists were good, but I did not have any real 'aha' moments (Hinzelmann was so obviously not what he appeared to be). I also think that one of the best things abotu Gaiman is his wit. I had more than a few hearty chuckles during neverwhere, but not many in this one. It took me a long time to read and I would only get through a handful of pages before getting bored and putting it down. By the middle i just skimmed through many passages. Maybe i missed important bits? Either way, it didnt really hold my attention. I was waiting for a moving conclusion, but it didnt come. Still, i got through it, and that deserves at least 3 stars.
wiresparrow More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books on my bookshelf. This and Neverwhere (also by Gaiman) are two books I recommend to people that want an interesting read. It branches out with  subtle references to so many things. A little nostalgic even. Names are not just names in this book. I just love Gaiman's writing but particularly this one and Neverwhere. Everything's more than it seems.
The_Book_Wheel_Blog More than 1 year ago
American Gods is, at its core, a social commentary on the things Americans worship. The story follows Shadow, a man who takes a job with Mr. Wednesday immediately after his release from prison. He’s not entirely sure who Mr. Wednesday is or what he does, but he crisscrosses the country with him and meets some interesting people along the way. What the reader learns, along with Shadow, is that the people he meets are the physical representations of various gods that are kept alive by people’s belief in them. Years ago, as people migrated to the United States, they brought their folklore and belief systems with them. Unfortunately, as people become more “Americanized” they begin to worship new things, such as the media, technology, and transportation. These “new” American Gods are also represented by real people, and the old is at war with the new for their place in the world. If I haven’t lost you yet, let me be clear that this book is absolutely stunning and that you shouldn’t judge it based on my summary because it’s such a layered book that it’s difficult to explain. American Gods takes a look at what Americans worship today and how these new preoccupations affect our personal histories. It begs the question of whether our ancestors and their beliefs matter, and it mocks the the “gods” that Americans worship today. More than just as social commentary, however, Gaiman strikes a chord in the hearts of readers with his incredible character development and fast-paced storyline. Despite its length, American Gods is impossible to put down and will leave you wanting more. Allison @ The Book Wheel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book took a while to get into. It was not a sit on the edge of your seat and cant put it down kind of book. But even so, the premise of the story and the plot are great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sometimes drawn out and perhaps a bit cliche in the new gods though the gods themselves are unique and the pantheon within is really incredible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this to be intriguing, entertaining, and splendidly written. I found myself wanting to finish it in earnest. The plot twists were unexpected and delightful. Not sure where the idea for this novel originated but go back there and grab another one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is huge and not the easiest read at times but it is worth the effort.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very talented author. The story is smart and entertaining, but the writing talent takes it to the next level.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do not read this book if you can't pay attention to it. I enjoyed this book. Every once in a while I like to read a book that will actually make my brain work. It has meaning and depth. Shadows path through the world of the American Gods is a tricky one, a coin trick that is simple once you slow it down and look past the illusion, clear the smoke and turn the mirrors! THAT is how I inturpet this book. There were times I got a little confused but in the end I think it's briliant. 4 stars instead of 5 because some parts seemed to be there simply to confuse the confused. Don't get me wrong though I love Neil Gaiman one of my favorite books is Neverwhere.
CAJ45 More than 1 year ago
I found this book very entertaining. Did I always know what was going on...Nope nor did I fully understand everything. But it had a great cast of characters and a mixed up storyline that you just wanted to read to find out where it was going. Definitely a book I would re-read because I would discover something new with each reading.