Book Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

By Neil Gaiman

  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • ISBN-13:9780380789030

Shadow is a man with a past. But now he wants nothing more than to live a quiet life with his wife and stay out of trouble. Until he learns that she’s been killed in a terrible accident.

Flying home for the funeral, as a violent storm rocks the plane, a strange man in the seat next to him introduces himself. The man calls himself Mr. Wednesday, and he knows more about Shadow than is possible.

He warns Shadow that a far bigger storm is coming. And from that moment on, nothing will ever be the same…

Available from Amazon and B&N


Hello my preciouses, today I bring you the majestic beauty that is American Gods by Neil Gaiman. To be honest I hadn’t read anything by Mr. Gaiman in my life until late last year when I read The Graveyard Book, and boy am I disappointed in myself. Neil Gaiman has The Gift. He is able to weave these amazing stories together. Making you lose yourself in their pages as the world around just keeps on going. It’s a beautiful thing.

This is the part where I let out a deep sigh and get a far away look in my eye.

American Gods starts off with Shadow getting an early release from prison because his wife died. I immediately felt bad for this guy. I mean it sucks enough that he’s been in prison for the past 3 years. Then finds out from the jerk warden why he’s on early release in the most jerkish way.  Goes to his dead wife’s funeral only find out his best friend is also dead. Major bummer. Not to mention why they died in the same car accident, but I think you know. I want to wrap Shadow in my TARDIS blanket like a burrito and tell him everything is going to be okay. Of course I’d be lying to him, but it might make both of us feel better.

Mr. Wednesday is a sneaky old man and I spent most of the book trying to figure out if he was on anyone’s side other than his own. I found myself toeing the line between animosity towards Mr. Wednesday and emotional attachment. Regardless of what emotion he was making me feel I never trusted him. How can you trust someone that knows all about you but in return you know nothing of? When your life is in the crapper and you have nothing to lose, do you really have a choice? Much like Shadow, I would have said screw it and hopped on the crazy train with Mr. Wednesday.

Now, let’s talk about the gods in this book. They were called to the states a long time ago by their believers and just stayed here. As time goes by and people stop believing they get weaker. Which sucks, right? Can you imagine having all this omnipotent power and then in a blink of an eye have it dwindle to a few cheap tricks? It would be devastating. As a whole, they are a fun crowd, just like when old people hang around and talk. That’s how I saw them, it almost made me forget that they were gods and while old they were dangerous. And I haven’t even gotten to the new gods, who are pompous dingle-berries. They’re so sure about themselves and their invincibility that being outsmarted by anyone doesn’t even cross their minds.

One of my favorite things about this book is how Mr. Gailman is able to give you some backstory without giving you backstory. It sounds like it should be annoying, right? And it kind of is but not entirely because you’re able to piece together pieces of the story as it develops (which I know, I know that’s the whole point of storytelling) before he gives you the whole picture. It is a bit long winded so that made it a little strenuous for me to keep reading. As a whole I enjoyed it.

I give American Gods four Tacos in the Taco Scale of Awesome. The only reason it’s not five is because, while an engrossing read, it doesn’t beg to finish reading in one sitting. It’s a good book and when you start reading you get lost in the world of Shadow but when I put it down I didn’t immediately pick it back up. I also didn’t mention about the  weird dreams/premonitions Shadow gets while asleep. It’s a little disturbing but oh so good. Give it a go, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Oh! Exciting news! HBO is talking about making this into a six season series and that makes me break out in my happy dance.

I randomly found this illustration someone created, and I wanted to share it:

American Gods Illustration

Until next time. Mon, over and out.

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