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.
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.
I'm not quite sure what to say about American Gods. It's a bizarre, yet very good book. The main character, Shadow, is waiting out his last days in prison only to find out his wife was killed in a car accident. On his way to the funeral, he meets an interesting character on the plane who knows way too much about Shadow, and the mysterious man offers him a job. Shadow finds himself caught in the middle of a war between the various gods of America - the gods of the past, brought over with the hopes and dreams of the immigrants, and the gods of an increasingly modern society - television, the internet, etc. This book makes you want to cheer for the good guys, but then again, who is really good, and how can we know? This was my first exposure to Gaiman; I'd heard about him many times over, but had never actually picked up a book by him. I think I'll pick up more, and I encourage you to do so too. This is a good, albeit bizarre and strange, book.
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!!