By Neil Gaiman
(William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780380973651, 480pp.)
Publication Date: July 2001
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The storm was coming....
Shadow spent three years in prison, keeping his head down, doing his time. All he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and to stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his scheduled release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place.
On the plane ride home to the funeral, Shadow meets a grizzled man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A self-styled grifter and rogue, Wednesday offers Shadow a job. And Shadow, a man with nothing to lose, accepts.
But working for the enigmatic Wednesday is not without its price, and Shadow soon learns that his role in Wednesday's schemes will be far more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. Entangled in a world of secrets, he embarks on a wild road trip and encounters, among others, the murderous Czernobog, the impish Mr. Nancy, and the beautiful Easter -- all of whom seem to know more about Shadow than he himself does.
Shadow will learn that the past does not die, that everyone, including his late wife, had secrets, and that the stakes are higher than anyone could have imagined.
All around them a storm of epic proportions threatens to break. Soon Shadow and Wednesday will be swept up into a conflict as old as humanity itself. For beneath the placid surface of everyday life a war is being fought -- and the prize is the very soul of America.
As unsettling as it is exhilarating, American Gods is a dark and kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an America at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. Magnificently told, this work of literary magic will haunt the reader far beyond the final page.
Neil Gaiman has written award-winning books for children and adults, including the Newbery Medal-winning novel The Graveyard Book and Coraline, Stardust, and Odd and the Frost Giants. His picture books include Instructions and Blueberry Girl, illustrated by Charles Vess; The Wolves in the Walls, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, and Crazy Hair, illustrated by Dave McKean; and The Dangerous Alphabet, illustrated by Gris Grimly. A baby giant panda once sat on his lap and ate bamboo in Chengdu, China.
American Gods is sexy, thrilling, dark, funny and poetic."
-Teller, of Penn & Teller
“Original, engrossing, and endlessly inventive; a picaresque journey across America where the travelers are even stranger than the roadside attractions.”
-George R. R. Martin
"American Gods is like a fast run downhill through a maze -- both exhilarating and twisted."
-Jane Lindskold, author of Changer and
“Gaiman understands the shape of stories.”
-Patrick Rothfuss, www.tor.com