Pub Writes

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American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Posted by Caitie F on December 18, 2009

Title: American Gods

Author: Neil Gaiman

Publisher: HarperCollins

Paperback: 588 pages

ISBN: 0380789035

Rating: ++++

Summary (back cover copy): 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 hse’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 in possible.

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


This book took me a LONG time to read…over a month. The beginning was really slow and dragged for me a lot, so I kept switching to other books or magazines. It was recommended to me by so many people, that I had to keep going (and I love everything I have read by Gaiman)

Once i got to the second half of the book, I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a couple days. Once it picked up, it really picked up. Eventually i want to reread it to see if I could have figured out some of the twists earlier. Shadow is a great character – he wants a simple life, but instead lives an adventure and has to make some tough moral choices.

The book also has a lot of statements about society – the news “gods’ of America are the internet, TV, and laziness. The old gods are ignored and have mostly been forgotten. It takes a while to find out more about the main conflict between old and new, but the result is worth the wait! I like that the book does not include Greek gods that we all know about already. It has Norse, Native American, and other cultures, which I really liked since I did not know much about them.

The book also has quite a bit of philosophies and things that make you think. My favorite was on page 508 in my copy, on the first page on Chapter 18, “Religions are, by definition, metaphors after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, and ironist, a father, a city, a house with many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert — even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all oppositions”. What I love about this statement is that it can say so many things to so many different people. To me, it is a fairly true statement because to me, God really is hope and a dream that there is something out there that is watching out for us and is part of a better place when it is over. I also love the comment about football teams and armies. Thanking God for awards or a touchdown always seems silly to me – like in last night’s episode of Survivor two contestants were praying that they would win a reward challenge. I hope that, with all the problems in the world, that God isn’t busy worrying over whether or not they will get to go have a fun feast.

My problem with the book was the beginning though. I know there had to be back story, but the wandering got annoying. It is worth it. For a little bit, Shadow is with Ibis and and Jacquel and that really shows what most of the book is like – strong characters and a fascinating plot.

What do you think? If you have a review, let me know and I will link to it!

Other reviews

Amanda from The Zen Leaf didn’t like it very much.


3 Responses to “American Gods by Neil Gaiman”

  1. Nymeth said

    I like that quote you included a lot too. I actually enjoyed the first half of the book, but I can see why the second is more exciting.

    • Caitie F said

      I think I know why the first half seemed to drag for me. I started reading this right after I read The Graveyard Book and that had me from the first page. I guess I was expecting it again! The more I think about the book, the more I like it.

  2. Amanda said

    haha, I was going to come comment with my opinion and then saw that you already linked to me. 😀

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