Book Review: American Gods

Amazon synopsis: “A storm is coming . . .

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Relevant and prescient, American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.”

Length: 674 (Kindle edition)

Published by and date: William Morrow (imprint of HarperCollins) on June 21, 2011 (Anniversary reprint)

Destiny’s Thoughts

Where I found this book: Actually my boyfriend found this book for us. He had an audible credit and we had a long six hour drive ahead of us. His mom got him the book for Christmas a year earlier but he hadn’t got around to reading it. It’s pretty long. We listened to it for the whole drive up, every time we were in the car, the whole way down, and still sat around the house and listened to it for a few hours to finish the book. Long but well worth it.

How it’s written: The narrator mostly follows Shadow’s story as he gets out of jail, heads home to bury his wife, and meets Mr. Wednesday. The characters are well developed and Gaiman does an excellent job describing the world. The imagery really helps place you into a world where gods do all they can to exist in a country that doesn’t care about them anymore.

What I like about this book: It was fun to see how different gods from different mythologies. There are so many characters and a few plotlines going on at once and for awhile you think it’s impossible to wrap everything up but then it all ties together so wonderfully.

Final Thoughts: I wish I knew more about the different myths around the globe. It was easy for me to point out greek gods but anyone else just completely went over my head. My boyfriend’s eyes lit up every time he recognized a god by the description before their name was revealed. I’d liken it to the face a person gets when they shake a present and know what it is, then they open it and their smile gets even bigger because they were right.

If you want to buy the book, click here.

If you’re interested in Neil Gaiman, check out his site.

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