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Publisher's Summary

The definitive American road novel with over a million copies sold.

AN ACCLAIMED, EMMY-NOMINATED TV SERIES ON AMAZON PRIME VIDEO

WINNER OF THE HUGO, LOCUS AND BRAM STOKER AWARDS

After three years in prison, Shadow Moon is free to go home. But hours before his release, his beloved wife is killed in a freak accident. Numbly, he boards a plane where he meets an enigmatic stranger who seems to know Shadow and claims to be an ancient god - and king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange road trip across the USA, encountering a kaleidoscopic cast of characters along the way. But all around them a storm of unnatural proportions is gathering.

War is coming, an epic struggle for the very soul of America. And Shadow is standing squarely in its path.

NEIL GAIMAN.

WITH STORIES COME POSSIBILITIES.

©2001 Neil Gaiman (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"To give him his full title: Neil Gaiman, Architect of Worlds, Svengali of Plot, Shaman of Character, Exploder of Cliché, Master Craftsman of Style, Dreamer Laureate of the Republic of Letters." (David Mitchell) 

"Original, engrossing, and endlessly inventive." (George R.R. Martin) 

"Brilliant and unique." (Guardian)

What listeners say about American Gods

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A Benchmark Title

An absolute modern classic book evolves into an absolute modern classic audiobook. Gaiman is one of my favourite authors (write more, damn you!) and American Gods is maybe his finest work. This is pretty much my favourite audiobook thus far.

Faultless.

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Best audio book I've ever listened to

The story is great obviously.

But the cast is what makes this audiobook so memorable.

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Flawless!!

Any additional comments?

American Gods has been an amazing book since the day it was published, but this 10th anniversary production has resulted in the best audiobook I have ever heard. Perfect narrators, flawless character voices, seamless production - all doing justice to as rich a story and set of characters as you could ever hope for - set in the beatifully crafted attic spaces of America that those of us who don't live there love to read about and imagine. Thank you Mr. Gaiman and all those who put this production together, this is a new standard in audiobooks and it has made my life richer.

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Brilliant

I did not know about this book until I saw the TV series earlier this year - and what a discovery! This is just awesome!!!!

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fantastic

incredible audiobook, varied cast and amazing voice acting performances really make this a stand out experience.

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brilliant story, thrilling characters

Very deep and detailed story of a man finding himself again after being in prison --- but finding so much more as he gets involved with the gods. Amazing pictures of myth and legend, happening today.

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Breathtaking!

One of the best books I've ever written. The best part of the book (for me) was when Shadow was tied up on the tree - I could visualise everything and felt like I was right there with him experiencing every single thing he was going through.

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Strange, slow moving, story

The characters in American Gods are interesting and the reading performance is superb. American Gods deals with the weird, the strange, and the unreal - all of which I like. However, I also like stuff to actually happen, and this novel kept me waiting too long between the main events. The plot was too slow moving for my liking. It kept me interested until the end, but only barely.

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special

this was something special and unexpected. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Will definitely look at reading more of his work.

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Subjective Masterpiece

This book is one of the best experiences I have ever had. It is an excellent exploration into America and culture, however, it must be said that many people for some reason or another hate this book and find it boring. If you are one of those people, it is unfortunate you couldn’t enjoy this masterpiece. If you are a person who will enjoy it, you’ll find it incredible.

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  • Miles
  • 06-12-13

Just fantastic!

With the impending release of Neil Gaiman's new audiobook - 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane' (18th June 2013) - I thought it was worth quickly reviewing the best of his previous novels. Although Anansi Boys is great (especially once you get used to Lenny Henry doing the narration), American Gods remains his greatest novelistic and audiobook achievement.

The story starts with Shadow getting out of prison a day early due to tragic circumstances. What follows is an odyssey into the heartland of America and the Gods who live there. While the book itself is a great read, the audio version really brings the text to life - Shadow's dry sense of humour; Wednesday's mischievousness. It's so good I'm actually envious of those people who have not yet had the pleasure of downloading it - if you're one of these people, download it NOW! You won't regret it.

On a similar fantasy-related / magical-reality theme, I would also heartedly recommend the Peter Grant novels by Ben Aaronovitch - the everyday tell of your average bobby becoming the last apprentice of English magic. It is simply one of the best narrated books on Audible. Warning: be careful where you listen, however, you will undoubtedly get strange looks due to your laughing.

96 people found this helpful

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  • D. M. York
  • 03-10-17

Superbly performed, but pointless

I really struggled with this audiobook, eventually I got just past halfway and then gave up.

Not that the story is in any way badly written, indeed it is splendidly written and the narration is probably the best I have heard of Audible with an excellent cast. However this has not been enough to recover the meandering and seemingly pointless story.

It got to halfway through and I was not even sure of what was happening or indeed whether the story was going anywhere. The book had a very promising start and seemed to introduce some very interesting characters, though after a while it just felt that the characters were moving around pointlessly. The deciding factor for me was that by halfway I had no clue what was going on at all and much more than this, I didn't care.

Perhaps this is a book that you really need to focus on, though since I do most of my listening either at the gym or in the car, it's perhaps too involved for my taste.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Ant
  • 01-12-14

Weird and wonderful - a work of genius

I am a Neil Gaiman fan, so I'd pretty much bought into the writing style and the nature of the story up front. However, I think this is the book in which he gets everything right. It's a big book, but it's full of story, so it manages to pretty much sprint the marathon. There wasn't a time where I felt it lacked pace, or had to sit through setup text.
The characters are flawed, but completely engaging. I found myself so interested in some of the gods that I would pause the story to do a little research.
The narration is excellent and Neil's additions only add to tale.

Highly recommended.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Rebecca
  • 02-23-13

Magnificent book - as good as I remember it!

Read this many years ago and have just finished it on audiobook - it's still as brilliant as I remember and actually better because Neil Gaiman has put stuff back into it. Very well read too - it feels as though a great deal of care and attention was paid to make sure the detail is spot on. I think this is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Neil
  • 04-07-13

Brilliantly written but just plods along

I can't help but feel more should've happened in this book or more explanation. The characters are great and the world they live in but I don't know. It just.... lacked. Its a shame cause the audio is amazing. Different actors for every voice and each great. I hope this becomes the benchmark for audiobooks. It really is a great performance but as I said the story just isn't all there for me.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Richard
  • 04-07-13

My new favourite book

I'd listened to the Anansi Boys narrated by Lenny Henry and loved it, knowing at the time that it was vaguely connected to American Gods, but Lenny was the draw.



Don't know why but I wasn't particularly drawn to American Gods, but after constant recommendations I thought I'd seek out the audiobook. Initially I was put off by the reviews regarding the narration, but decided to proceed with caution.



The narration is perfect for the book and kept me entertained from chapter to chapter, an absolute pleasure to listen too.



The story itself is so full personality. I became attached to many of the characters, but none more so than Shadow. I was upset when it ended and I hope to enter into that world again soon.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Craig
  • 08-01-12

Outstanding

Gripping tale filled with believable and engaging characters. It is clear that this was a work of love for Gaiman, one of my favourite books of all time.

17 people found this helpful

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  • ThePaulPBrown
  • 10-23-13

Abridge me

Where does American Gods rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Good but not great. The Ocean at the End of Lane is a superior narrative and much more cohesive and engaging

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The narrative is very rambling - and the interludes (which I imagine were cut from the first edition book) break up the already baggy narrative. When the threads come together it is satisfying enough

Given how beautifully Neil Gaiman writes, I was disappointed that this is too indulgent and therefore only patchily gripping.

What about Neil Gaiman and George Guidall ’s performance did you like?

Absolutely brilliantly read - comes across like a play. The best narration of an audio book that I have heard

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Magical in places but overall impact greatly reduced by the indulgent bagginess

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend the Ocean at the End of Lane and this is good but just too long

12 people found this helpful

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  • Jonin
  • 12-24-14

This book has got character!

Mystifyingly captivating despite tenuous ramblings from time to time. It's an imaginative American road trip but which gives you a real sense of the people and places along the spiritual way. A story I doubt I will forget.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Alison
  • 06-19-13

Original and memorable

Beautifully read this is a very unusual story that is unpredictable and intriguing. A great audiobook that I thoroughly recommend.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Liam Edwards
  • 08-12-17

Great Listen

This was my first purchase from Audible and the first book I've finished since I was about 10.
I came into this book after having seen the series and while I enjoyed the series very much. This book surprised me. Some of the lines left me laughing, others had me questioning who the person was it what was to happen next. Trying to piece together the whole story was great; thinking you had it right only for your theory to be destroyed by the next chapter.

The readers of the book were phenomenal. Each character sounded unique and their lines were delivered perfectly.

I'd have to recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery, a well crafted story, and the myths and legends of the gods.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Alaina Jefferson
  • 04-26-14

Such a brilliant story.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely recommend this book, it's such a rich story! The characters are rich and full, the journey of the story is as meandering as I've imagined the back roads of America to be.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mister Ibis, an incarnation of the Egyptian god Thoth, tells the protagonist, Shadow, some amazing stories, in such a beautiful way that you don't mind the less than straight answers.

What about Neil Gaiman and George Guidall ’s performance did you like?

Though this is billed as performed by Neil Gaiman and George Guidall this is actually a full cast audio book, narrated by Guidall and the chapters that are more off scenes, or related short stories, are read by Gaiman. Regardless, all the cast are fantastic; engaging, easy to listen to, and perfect for the role.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would've happily listened to this in one sitting, unfortunately its a little too long for that to be possible.

Any additional comments?

Neil Gaiman is a truly unique author, and this is one of his best novels.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-17

Perhaps not a balanced review.

The headline for this review is apt. I am a fan.
I own, I think, all of Neil Gaiman's books and so I have read American Gods in physical, page turning form previously. Thus, I knew the story, and its most loved aspects before my auditory journey commenced. Much of this book was read to me whilst I drove between Wagga Wagga and Nowra to deliver, collect, deliver and again collect my partner. It made the hours race by and ensured the mostly freeway drive remained interesting. This story marries concepts that I find wonderful and fulfilling, presenting them in an easily understood novel. The author has penned a story which shows the depth of his study of the old gods and European culture. With kobolds and gods, pixies and kelpies, daemons and demons represented in a way that is culturally significant and true to their character. Anansi gets a major role again, and the listener is introduced to the folkloric traditions of Celtic, Gaelic, Gallic, Germanic, Indian, Norse, Slavic, and Egyptian backgrounds.
I would recommend this book, but then again, I'm biased.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jolene
  • 07-17-16

An amazing journey through a new and old America

I read the shining reviews about this audiobook and I was intrigued. Having just finished Neverwhere (fantastic by the way) I was keen to start another Gaiman book Asap. I think sometimes when reviews go on and on about how amazing a book is my expectations are let down, let's face it - everyone has their own ideas and opinions on what makes a great audiobook. This one is worth the listen.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
I expected more. For me the storyline was great... BUT it had moments of lag when I just wanted to get on with the story. I mean pieces of information that mean nothing to the main guts of the book just added as filler, at least that's how it felt at times.

I felt lost at times. Sometimes the story takes an odd angle that makes no sense whatsoever... I just went with it, I mean the book is still a good listen overall.

WHAT I ENJOYED:
The depth of the story, the journey though America. I have never been to America, but I felt like I was there experiencing it all alongside Shadow. It's a beautifully woven tale, Shadow is amazing, strong, patient and full of nothing... and everything. I look forward to seeing how the TV adaptation will work.

The narration is exceptional. You will have to listen to find out what I mean ;)

The tale is original and true to our time. It's a battle of the old and new with lashings of pain thrown in there alongside love, friendship, murder and betrayal.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Keith Bielamowicz
  • 06-30-20

god what a tale

I’d be hard pressed to choose between American Gods or GOT.

The performances, story and overall deliciousness astound.

I have no idea what I missed in the first go around and I cannot wait to find out.

Bravo! Yay! Winning!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Debbie
  • 07-07-17

very long

This book was quite interesting but way too long. I liked all the different voices.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Warren King
  • 08-25-19

Immersive, enjoyable and well written

So many of the references to gods in this novel go beyond my knowledge, but Gaiman feels like he does a great job of explaining who the more obscure gods are while allowing the you to guess at and figure out the others you “should” have at least cursory knowledge of yourself. The mystery of shadow’s lineage is well written and the mysteries are genuinely fun to uncover. If you like Gaiman, this is a great read. More adult and mature than his other novels. Crucial point, this book is certainly not running in lockstep with the tv shows, and diverges a bit fairly early while having similar or same characters involved.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Slartibartfast
  • 03-18-18

Not the Gaiman I'm used to.

Would you try another book written by Neil Gaiman or narrated by the narrators?

Probably, yes.

Has American Gods put you off other books in this genre?

No.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Hick American accents.

What character would you cut from American Gods?

Most of them. They are unendearing.

Any additional comments?

I've read other Neil Gaiman works and really enjoyed them.
American Gods was another well crafted novel by this author that completely failed to resonate with me.
Finally, I fail to see the need to gratuitous and pointless profanity in literature, it limits the audience for an otherwise well written novel.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-15-17

A book that reaches high and is unable to hold on.

I read this book a decade or so ago and thought it was pretty good. The audio book production is amongst the best I have heard. However I found the story a one card trick. Sure Thor is a likeable bloke but he is just a puppet that doesn't develop into a character I can empathise nor cheer for. Ultimately I found myself struggling to finish this.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Matt
  • 08-09-17

Thought it would be better

Not as good a story as I thought, was jumbled but structured though that's a plus

1 person found this helpful