American Gods

American Gods

Book - 2011 | Tenth anniversary edition
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Upon his release from prison, a widower accepts a job as a bodyguard and joins the battle between the gods of yore and the neoteric gods of present-day America.
Publisher: New York : William Morrow, [2011]
Edition: Tenth anniversary edition
ISBN: 9780062059888
0062059882
9780062080233
0062080237
Branch Call Number: FICT GAI
Characteristics: xiv, 541 pages ; 24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

List - Fantasy & Magic
CPL_Chris Jan 29, 2020

The book that inspired the 2017 Starz television show. A clash of ancient mythology from around the world combined with a modern day interpretation of America and present day ideals.


From the critics


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a
AlteredStaite
Jun 13, 2021

Just not into gratuitous violence right now. Maybe some other time in my life I'll go back and try again. For now, I'm going back to Somerset Maugham.

WPL_Erin Mar 04, 2021

So clever, and wonderfully weird! Absolutely loved the dichotomy between the new gods and old. Shadow was a solid character and I truly enjoyed his journey.

l
LitHub
Jan 24, 2021

I liked it for the most part but it's too long (editor!) and was, at times, pretty grim.

The ideas behind it were clever and Gaiman clearly had fun throwing the giant mythology book at the reader, covering gods large and small, famous and obscure. Shadow was, like his name, a hole of a character, a blank slate in many ways, but almost 500 pages of a main character who is largely a shell is ultimately... unsatisfying? I enjoyed the mythology parts and was less enthused in some of the other, more meandering parts of the story.

Mostly it was engrossing entertainment, but not completely my style of book.

q
QAGeek
Oct 24, 2020

Always worth a reread

b
Bugzysmom
Sep 17, 2020

This is by far my favorite book by Neil Gaiman. I own more than one copy for some odd reason and can't tell you how many times I've read it! I know it's fiction but.....
Definitely check this out if you are into 'fantasy' fiction

e
ExlibrisJan
Jul 30, 2020

"A town isn't a town without a bookstore" Neil, your words carry wisdom and amazing chatacter. Today, I'd like to borrow your phrase and state that 'a library is a library when you have a card'. John Lewis chose a path to claim a right to borrow a book and cast a vote. A true American God.

b
bigforest
May 22, 2020

This is the Spanish edition!

e
ellenorndorf
May 03, 2020

I read this during the pandemic. The quote "a town isn't a town without a book store" is from this book. Its on page 252. I thought it was way too long.

d
danomcd
Sep 02, 2019

Very interesting read and interesting concept. I felt the ending was a little rushed and lack luster but the depth of the main character Shadow was fascinating.

f
flygt
Aug 07, 2019

Definitely unique but I can't say I enjoyed it much. Mostly I'd just chalk it up as weird, also I think Gaiman has a tendency to get sidetracked and spend a long time on things that are only tangentially relevant.

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Quotes

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JCLBeckyC Jul 06, 2019

"Shadow drove carefully down the street. The snowplows had cleaned the roads by now but he was comfortable driving slowly. It seemed right to go slow in a hearse, although he could barely remember the last time he had seen a hearse on the streets. Death has vanished from the streets of America, thought Shadow. Now it happened in hospital rooms and in ambulances. 'We must not startle the living,' thought Shadow."

JCLBeckyC Jul 06, 2019

"I can get out of here. I can get away before the storm hits. Away from a world in which opiates have become the religion of the masses." - Mad Sweeney

m
Mbussey
Aug 25, 2018

“Hey," said Shadow. "Huginn or Muninn, or whoever you are."
The bird turned, head tipped, suspiciously, on one side, and it stared at him with bright eyes.
"Say 'Nevermore,'" said Shadow.
"Fuck you," said the raven.”

j
jimg2000
Jun 01, 2018

Too many favorites, here is a subset:
“Easter. Just like the sun rises in the east, you know.” “The risen son. Of course—a most logical supposition.”
===
THE ONLY WOMAN I HAVE EVER LOVED WAS ANOTHER MAN’S WIFE…MY MOTHER!
======
Wednesday looked like he had learned to smile from a manual.
===
“for the joy’s gone out of me now, like the pee from a small boy in a swimming pool on a hot day.”
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Every hour wounds. The last one kills. Where had he heard that?
===
“Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.”
===
Chicago happened slowly, like a migraine. First they were driving through countryside, then, imperceptibly, the occasional town became a low suburban sprawl, and the sprawl became the city.

j
jimg2000
Jun 01, 2018

Each bee makes only a tiny, tiny drop of honey. It takes thousands of them, millions perhaps, all working together to make the pot of honey you have on your breakfast table. Now imagine that you could eat nothing but honey. That’s what it’s like for my kind of people…we feed on belief, on prayers, on love.
===

“I know a charm that will heal with a touch. “I know a charm that will turn aside the weapons of an enemy. “I know another charm to free myself from all bonds and locks.
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There were men in black trains out there. There was a fat kid in a stretch limo and there were people in the television who did not mean them well.
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Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead. —BEN FRANKLIN, POOR RICHARD’S ALMANACK
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San Francisco isn’t in the same country as Lakeside any more than New Orleans is in the same country as New York or Miami is in the same country as Minneapolis.”

j
jimg2000
Jun 01, 2018

Her green eyes looked at Wednesday. They were, Shadow decided, the exact same color as a leaf in spring with the sun shining through it.
===

“My mom used to say, ‘Life isn’t fair,’” said Shadow. “Of course she did,” said Wednesday. “It’s one of those things that moms say, right up there with ‘If all your friends jumped off a cliff would you do it too?’”
===

It’s true what they say, thought Shadow. If you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.
===
“Oh. I thought it was maybe like an X-Files kinda thing,” he says.
===

“You play your cards so close to your chest,” said Shadow, “that I’m not even sure that they’re really cards at all.”
===

Nobody ever told Paul Bunyan stories. Nobody ever believed in Paul Bunyan. He came staggering out of a New York ad agency in 1910 and filled the nation’s myth stomach with empty calories.”

j
jimg2000
Jun 01, 2018

“There are too many towns hereabouts that only exist for the hunters and the vacationers, towns that just take their money and send them home with their trophies and their bug bites. Then there are the company towns, where everything’s just hunky-dory until Wal-Mart relocates their distribution center or 3M stops manufacturing CD cases there or whatever and suddenly there’s a boatload of folks who can’t pay their mortgages.
===
There are stories that are true, in which each individual’s tale is unique and tragic, and the worst of the tragedy is that we have heard it before, and we cannot allow ourselves to feel it too deeply.
===

Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.

j
jimg2000
Jun 01, 2018

Wolf said, no, people will die, people must die, all things that live must die, or they will spread and cover the world, and eat all the salmon and the caribou and the buffalo, eat all the squash and all the corn.
===

“We call him Inktomi here. I think it’s the same guy. My grandfather used to tell some pretty good stories about him. Of course, all the best of them were kind of dirty.”
===

“You know the white population all round here is falling? You go out there, you find ghost towns. How you going to keep them down on the farm, after they seen the world on their television screens?
===

Wars are being fought all the time, with the world outside no more the wiser: the war on crime, the war on poverty, the war on drugs. This war was smaller than those, and huger, and more selective, but it was as real as any.
===

“Bilquis,” he says, again. And then he sings, in a voice not made for singing, “You are an immaterial girl living in a material world.”

j
jimg2000
Jun 01, 2018

“There’s only so much belief to go around. They’re reaching the end of what they can give us. The credibility gap.” And then he sings, once again, in his tuneless nasal voice, “You are an analog girl, living in a digital world.”
===

“Is he cute?” “Who?” “The neighbor.” “His name’s Ainsel. Mike Ainsel. He’s okay. Too young for me. Big guy, looks…what’s the word. Begins with an M.” “Mean? Moody? Magnificent? Married?” A short laugh, then, “Yes, I guess he does look married.
===

LIFE IS A CABERNET
===

He wanted to be entertained, not to have to think, just to sit and let the sounds and the light wash over him.
===

“Organizing gods is like herding cats into straight lines. They don’t take naturally to it.”
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I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theatres from state to state.

j
jimg2000
Jun 01, 2018

… jade is dried dragon sperm,
===
I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive.
===

I believe that life is a game, life is a cruel joke and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”
===

“Would you believe that all the gods that people have ever imagined are still with us today?” “…maybe.” “And that there are new gods out there, gods of computers and telephones and whatever, and that they all seem to think there isn’t room for them both in the world. And that some kind of war is kind of likely.”
===

An ordinance prohibiting expectoration on sidewalks and on the floors of public buildings, or throwing thereon tobacco in any form, was introduced and passed, eight to four, in December of 1876.

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Age

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Mbussey
Aug 25, 2018

Mbussey thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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MERAJ AHMED KHAN
Jul 06, 2017

MERAJ AHMED KHAN thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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alexapichora
Jan 17, 2017

alexapichora thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

c
chromium88
Mar 29, 2015

chromium88 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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bilida
Aug 11, 2014

bilida thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Sophie2798
Jun 24, 2014

Sophie2798 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Jeroman
Sep 03, 2013

Jeroman thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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seaeffess
Aug 14, 2013

seaeffess thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

hDlVivace Jun 18, 2012

hDlVivace thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Dr_Inferno
Mar 27, 2012

Dr_Inferno thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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Notices

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vv1 Mar 12, 2015

Sexual Content: Contains some sexual content

vv1 Mar 12, 2015

Coarse Language: There is swearing, but it did not feel excessive.

vv1 Mar 12, 2015

Violence: Has some scenes depicting violence or the aftermath of violence.

hDlVivace Jun 18, 2012

Coarse Language: Used in conjunction with the sexual content at times. Other times swearing is prevalent with R-rated language. But language is carefully controlled to an extent and not used unneedlessly.

j
jabey
Jun 10, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Summary

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s
Stonesoul1
Jul 01, 2015

Possibly one of the greatest pieces of modern Literature by a writer who is surely one of he greatest literary treasures of our time. Gaiman weaves a complex and epic tale of Old World deities surviving adapting and warring in the New World, bereft of the believers that brought them there.

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