Skip to main content
PBS logo

Search - American Gods

American Gods
American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
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, a...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780380789030
ISBN-10: 0380789035
Publication Date: 4/2002
Pages: 624
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 989 ratings
Publisher: HarperTorch
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 2
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

mazeface avatar reviewed American Gods on + 66 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 19
This is one of those books that people either really hate or really love. Myself, I enjoyed it. Some reveiws on review how some readers thought it was hard to get through--somewhat slow. I can understand why people would think that, but I found myself trying to interpret what Gaiman is trying to say. Much symbolism abounds in "American Gods." Not a quick read, but for me, it was worth it.
Bibliocrates avatar reviewed American Gods on + 252 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
I had mixed feelings about this book. It was well written and original. However, I found the subject matter, while interesting and imaginative, unbelievable, unreal. Don't get me wrong, I love a good epic adventure! I love fantasy! The characters were great and will remain imprinted on my mind for a long time. Perhaps the problem was that it was all too unfamiliar, that sort of mythology, American Gods. Regardless, it was an enjoyable page-turner. I'm glad I read it. I will definitely read more of Neil Gaiman's work in the future and I will give this one another shot as well to see what I think of it the second time around.
soraidh avatar reviewed American Gods on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
Amazing book. I couldn't put it down. It has one of my favorite passages in any book. You'll love it especially if you like myths and legends.
Child-of-Odin avatar reviewed American Gods on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This was, in fact, the second Neil Gaiman novel I read (Coraline being the first, which I would also reccomend). Under fear of sounding fanboy-ish, I would first of all like to say that Neil Gaiman is... just unbelievable. He's just one of those authors that has me in awe sometimes, on the same level (in my book) as Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman. But on to the actual novel.
Honestly, I don't think there is much not to like about this book. It is COMPULSIVELY readable (particularly to someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, like me). The plot idea in itself is brilliant, and the wonderful writing just adds to that. I would also like to mention how much I enjoyed Shadow as a character. Male main-protagonists usually bore me, and I end up more interested in supporting characters, but Shadow was just awesome (not that the supporting characters weren't equally fascinating).
I would highly suggest this book. I will note that this book is not for everybody. It has graphic sex and language, and I guess the premise could be off-putting to religious people. (Though I read it when I was 14, so, you know, I guess it's just personal judgement and whatnot)
reviewed American Gods on + 228 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This author has such a gift with words it seemed as if i had read poetry instead of a novel. A thoughtful and horrific view of our america.
Read All 140 Book Reviews of "American Gods"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

reviewed American Gods on
chrisdodds avatar reviewed American Gods on + 3 more book reviews
It's a bit rough around the edges, but never fails to entertain. This was the first Gaiman work that I read and it made me want to read more. He's got a wicked sense of humor and uses the macabre in a way that's not hokey.
confuzzledbooks avatar reviewed American Gods on + 482 more book reviews
The main character is a man called Shadow. He just made it out of prison and is excited to get home to his wife. Unfortunately, the night before he's released he finds out his wife died in a car accident with his best friend. Now Shadow has no ties to the real world, and he makes the acquaintance of a business man named Mr. Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job. Through Mr. Wednesday Shadow meets many strange and unusual people, but the funny thing is that Shadow seems to fit in with them.
I know there are a lot of metaphors and religious messages in this book, but don't look at me for what they are because I was not thinking that deeply while I read it. Mostly I enjoyed the book. The only time I didn't was when I felt I was supposed to know the people/Gods that Shadow or Mr. Wednesday were talking to. I felt a little confused at the ending; it felt like there was too many people in the pot.
As a character, I liked Shadow and related to him through most of the book except(warning this may spoil the ending for you) when he returns at the end. I just couldn't understand why he would come back after being done with the world. I just didn't see it happening.
In the end, I enjoyed the story and the characters, and I would read the sequels and short stories connected to American Gods.
justreadingabook avatar reviewed American Gods on + 1711 more book reviews
Interesting and thought provoking.
What are the American Gods and where did they all come from?
How do they survive? Live? Interact with society?

What happens when they feel forgotten and neglected?
This is what this book is about in a story setting, woven in with characters and myths come to life from the people who believe in them.
Weird and yet very good.
reviewed American Gods on + 636 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book - it was quite an epic tale. It had such a fascinating premise! I like the whole mythology-brought-to America idea. Although, I must admit, I would have preferred a more satisfying end for Shadow. But, that wasn't enough to detract from my enjoyment of the book as a whole. Really, it was just fascinating - and such an engrossing read. It had such vivid imagery - it was just terrific!!

Book Wiki

Common Title
Original Publication Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
Mr. Wednesday (Primary Character)
Laura (Major Character)