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American gods
2017
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Awards
2002 - Hugo Award for Best Novel winner
2002 - Nebula Award for Best Novel winner
2001 - Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel winner
2002 - Locus Poll Award for Best Fantasy Novel winner
2002 - British Fantasy Society's August Derleth Award for Best Novel nominee
2001 - British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel nominee
2002 - World Fantasy Award for Best Novel nominee
2001 - International Horror Guild Award for Best Novel nominee
2002 - Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature nominee
Characters
Shadow Moon (Male), Bodyguard, Widower, Ex-convict, His wife died in an accident days before he was released from prison
Mr. Wednesday (Male), Mysterious, Alluring; hires Shadow to be his bodyguard
Genre
Fantasy
Magic realism
Suspense
Literary
Fiction
Topics
Gods and goddesses
Mythology
Mysteries
American culture
Setting
- United States
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Shadow Moon, recently released from prison and dealing with his wife's death, accepts a job offer from the mysterious Mr. Wednesday. Together they travel across America gathering up Mr. Wednesday's creepy friends. Soon Shadow discovers this road trip involves the upcoming epic battle between the old gods of the immigrants and today's new gods credit cards, TV, and the Internet. He also experiences repeat visits from the reanimated corpse of his dead wife, Laura. Shadow's personal tale and the details of American small-town life are well developed compared with the not-well-defined plot. The focus shifts from the gods' Armageddon to Shadow's life, to subplots about secondary characters. The book has wit but is too busy and not very engaging and includes some graphic language, sex, and disturbing events. George Guidall's clear, well-articulated narration contributes to a positive listening experience. Fans will no doubt enjoy the subject matter and the mythic scope. Denise A. Garofalo, Mid-Hudson Lib. Syst., Poughkeepsie, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Titans clash, but with more fuss than fury in this fantasy demi-epic from the author of Neverwhere. The intriguing premise of Gaiman's tale is that the gods of European yore, who came to North America with their immigrant believers, are squaring off for a rumble with new indigenous deities: "gods of credit card and freeway, of Internet and telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and of beeper and of neon." They all walk around in mufti, disguised as ordinary people, which causes no end of trouble for 32-year-old protagonist Shadow Moon, who can't turn around without bumping into a minor divinity. Released from prison the day after his beloved wife dies in a car accident, Shadow takes a job as emissary for Mr. Wednesday, avatar of the Norse god Grimnir, unaware that his boss's recruiting trip across the American heartland will subject him to repeat visits from the reanimated corpse of his dead wife and brutal roughing up by the goons of Wednesday's adversary, Mr. World. At last Shadow must reevaluate his own deeply held beliefs in order to determine his crucial role in the final showdown. Gaiman tries to keep the magical and the mundane evenly balanced, but he is clearly more interested in the activities of his human protagonists: Shadow's poignant personal moments and the tale's affectionate slices of smalltown life are much better developed than the aimless plot, which bounces Shadow from one episodic encounter to another in a design only the gods seem to know. Mere mortal readers will enjoy the tale's wit, but puzzle over its strained mythopoeia. (One-day laydown, June 19) Forecast: Even when he isn't in top form, Gaiman, creator of the acclaimed Sandman comics series, trumps many storytellers. Momentously titled, and allotted a dramatic one-day laydown with a 12-city author tour, his latest will appeal to fans and attract mainstream review coverage for better or for worse because of the rich possibilities of its premise. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
<p>Now a STARZ® Original Series produced by FremantleMedia North America starring Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, and Pablo Schreiber.</p> <p>Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.</p> <p>But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow's best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.</p> <p>Life as Wednesday's bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies . . . and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing--an epic war for the very soul of America--and that he is standing squarely in its path.</p> <p>"Mystery, satire, sex, horror, poetic prose--American Gods uses all these to keep the reader turning the pages."--Washington Post</p>
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