American GodsBook - 2011 | Tenth anniversary edition.
From Library Staff
Known for his darkly humorous and sprawling books, Gaiman's writing is stellar in this novel. Days before his release from prison, Shadow learns that his wife has been killed in an accident. On the plane ride back home for the funeral, he meets Mr. Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job. Shadow accep... Read More »
bkilfoy Sep 26, 2016
I'm still not sure how I feel about this one. In Gaiman's introduction to the 10th anniversary edition he notes that a lot of readers either love or hate the book but I don't fall into either of those camps. The concept is interesting and clever and some of the characters are fascinating but the ... Read More »
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From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
"Shadow drove carefully down the street. The snowplows had cleaned the roads by now but he was comfortable driving slowly. It seemed right to go slow in a hearse, although he could barely remember the last time he had seen a hearse on the streets. Death has vanished from the streets of America, thought Shadow. Now it happened in hospital rooms and in ambulances. 'We must not startle the living,' thought Shadow."
"I can get out of here. I can get away before the storm hits. Away from a world in which opiates have become the religion of the masses." - Mad Sweeney
“Hey," said Shadow. "Huginn or Muninn, or whoever you are."
The bird turned, head tipped, suspiciously, on one side, and it stared at him with bright eyes.
"Say 'Nevermore,'" said Shadow.
"Fuck you," said the raven.”
Too many favorites, here is a subset:
“Easter. Just like the sun rises in the east, you know.” “The risen son. Of course—a most logical supposition.”
THE ONLY WOMAN I HAVE EVER LOVED WAS ANOTHER MAN’S WIFE…MY MOTHER!
Wednesday looked like he had learned to smile from a manual.
“for the joy’s gone out of me now, like the pee from a small boy in a swimming pool on a hot day.”
Every hour wounds. The last one kills. Where had he heard that?
“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.”
Chicago happened slowly, like a migraine. First they were driving through countryside, then, imperceptibly, the occasional town became a low suburban sprawl, and the sprawl became the city.
Each bee makes only a tiny, tiny drop of honey. It takes thousands of them, millions perhaps, all working together to make the pot of honey you have on your breakfast table. Now imagine that you could eat nothing but honey. That’s what it’s like for my kind of people…we feed on belief, on prayers, on love.
“I know a charm that will heal with a touch. “I know a charm that will turn aside the weapons of an enemy. “I know another charm to free myself from all bonds and locks.
There were men in black trains out there. There was a fat kid in a stretch limo and there were people in the television who did not mean them well.
Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead. —BEN FRANKLIN, POOR RICHARD’S ALMANACK
San Francisco isn’t in the same country as Lakeside any more than New Orleans is in the same country as New York or Miami is in the same country as Minneapolis.”
Her green eyes looked at Wednesday. They were, Shadow decided, the exact same color as a leaf in spring with the sun shining through it.
“My mom used to say, ‘Life isn’t fair,’” said Shadow. “Of course she did,” said Wednesday. “It’s one of those things that moms say, right up there with ‘If all your friends jumped off a cliff would you do it too?’”
It’s true what they say, thought Shadow. If you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.
“Oh. I thought it was maybe like an X-Files kinda thing,” he says.
“You play your cards so close to your chest,” said Shadow, “that I’m not even sure that they’re really cards at all.”
Nobody ever told Paul Bunyan stories. Nobody ever believed in Paul Bunyan. He came staggering out of a New York ad agency in 1910 and filled the nation’s myth stomach with empty calories.”
“There are too many towns hereabouts that only exist for the hunters and the vacationers, towns that just take their money and send them home with their trophies and their bug bites. Then there are the company towns, where everything’s just hunky-dory until Wal-Mart relocates their distribution center or 3M stops manufacturing CD cases there or whatever and suddenly there’s a boatload of folks who can’t pay their mortgages.
There are stories that are true, in which each individual’s tale is unique and tragic, and the worst of the tragedy is that we have heard it before, and we cannot allow ourselves to feel it too deeply.
Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.
Wolf said, no, people will die, people must die, all things that live must die, or they will spread and cover the world, and eat all the salmon and the caribou and the buffalo, eat all the squash and all the corn.
“We call him Inktomi here. I think it’s the same guy. My grandfather used to tell some pretty good stories about him. Of course, all the best of them were kind of dirty.”
“You know the white population all round here is falling? You go out there, you find ghost towns. How you going to keep them down on the farm, after they seen the world on their television screens?
Wars are being fought all the time, with the world outside no more the wiser: the war on crime, the war on poverty, the war on drugs. This war was smaller than those, and huger, and more selective, but it was as real as any.
“Bilquis,” he says, again. And then he sings, in a voice not made for singing, “You are an immaterial girl living in a material world.”
“There’s only so much belief to go around. They’re reaching the end of what they can give us. The credibility gap.” And then he sings, once again, in his tuneless nasal voice, “You are an analog girl, living in a digital world.”
“Is he cute?” “Who?” “The neighbor.” “His name’s Ainsel. Mike Ainsel. He’s okay. Too young for me. Big guy, looks…what’s the word. Begins with an M.” “Mean? Moody? Magnificent? Married?” A short laugh, then, “Yes, I guess he does look married.
LIFE IS A CABERNET
He wanted to be entertained, not to have to think, just to sit and let the sounds and the light wash over him.
“Organizing gods is like herding cats into straight lines. They don’t take naturally to it.”
I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theatres from state to state.
… jade is dried dragon sperm,
I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive.
I believe that life is a game, life is a cruel joke and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”
“Would you believe that all the gods that people have ever imagined are still with us today?” “…maybe.” “And that there are new gods out there, gods of computers and telephones and whatever, and that they all seem to think there isn’t room for them both in the world. And that some kind of war is kind of likely.”
An ordinance prohibiting expectoration on sidewalks and on the floors of public buildings, or throwing thereon tobacco in any form, was introduced and passed, eight to four, in December of 1876.
Age SuitabilityAdd Age Suitability
MERAJ AHMED KHAN thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
Sexual Content: Contains some sexual content
Coarse Language: There is swearing, but it did not feel excessive.
Violence: Has some scenes depicting violence or the aftermath of violence.
Coarse Language: Used in conjunction with the sexual content at times. Other times swearing is prevalent with R-rated language. But language is carefully controlled to an extent and not used unneedlessly.
SummaryAdd a Summary
Possibly one of the greatest pieces of modern Literature by a writer who is surely one of he greatest literary treasures of our time. Gaiman weaves a complex and epic tale of Old World deities surviving adapting and warring in the New World, bereft of the believers that brought them there.