American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods Neil Gaiman

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

Shadow had done three years in prison.


Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.


The immigrants brought their beliefs with them to the United States. But America is a bad place for Gods and without people believing in them, they disappear slowly.

“Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.”

It’s a world on the fringes, which very few can see, into which Shadow stumbles after he’s released from prison. He finds himself in the employ of Mr Wednesday who is also an old god.

The old gods and the new ones, the gods of media and television and technology, are fighting and believe there is only place for one of them. A war is brewing and Shadow is stuck right in the middle of it.

I liked the whole idea of hidden gods. I liked the descriptions of them, their different personalities and the mythology behind their existence.

I also liked Shadow. He’s strong, silent, good-hearted.

Overall, I enjoyed the book but… it didn’t live up to the hype. It was in parts too long and read in a lot of parts like a dream (and not just the dream sequences). And… there was surprisingly little depth to the gods for a book about gods. Most of them appear and disappear again after a chapter.

I would have liked to know more about them but I never got to. The book can basically be summed up by Shadow going somewhere, meeting gods, going some other place, meeting some other gods.

It just lacked something. Still, it was a good read, just not a great one.


Interesting story with an interesting mythology behind it.


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