Book #70: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

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.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what – and who – it finds there…

This is the author’s preferred text, never before published in the UK, and is about 12,000 words longer than the previous UK edition.

I have owned my copy of American Gods for a while now and had always meant to read it. When the show was announced, it made me want to read it more. That said, it wasn’t until my friend Mack said we should do a buddy read for it that I actually read it.

My experience with American Gods was more audio than the paperback that I own. I drive a lot for work so sometimes I end up listening to the audiobook version of owned texts. This was one of those times.

What I love about the audio was the full cast. I could see each character differently because they all had a different narrator. For a fiction that is hinged on the characters more than the world, having a full cast is the way to go. I was pulled into a world of betrayal, faith, and the questions that are brought up because of these characters.

This was a book that led to some discussion between me and Crys (she had read it sometime ago and I mentioned I was reading it at that time). We wondered if Gaiman was saying that America is unable to have faith or if this was just an illustration of the difference between religion and faith. I am leaning toward the latter on that.

Honestly, I’m not sure if Gaiman intended those theories to pop up as he wrote American Gods, but they did and it made the experience of the book that much more.

I would definitely recommend this book for a mythology buff, a folklore buff, or even a regular person ready to see another side of America.

Final Rating: 5/5

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