American Gods

  • by Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by George Guidall
  • 20 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For the three years Shadow spent in prison, all he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his 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 man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday, a self-declared grifter, who offers Shadow a job. Shadow, a man with nothing to lose, accepts. But he soon learns that his role in Wednesday's schemes will be far more dangerous than he could have ever imagined. American Gods is a dark and kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an America at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. Magnificently told, American Gods is a work of literary magic that will haunt the listener long after it has been heard.


Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: In an era before both iPod and printing press, people told tales of the gods around the firepit. With American Gods, master storyteller Gaiman taps that mythic vein for a genre-defying modern-day tale of gods, both ancient and new, warring under our very noses. Giving voice to Gaiman's words, George Guidall brings out both the energy and emotion of this surprisingly human tale. His characterization of the much-more-than-a-conman Mr. Wednesday is masterful. —Ed Walloga


What the Critics Say

Hugo Award Winner, Best Novel, 2002
Nebula Award Winner, Best Novel, 2002
"Brilliant dialogue and profound insights into American consciousness show Gaiman to be a visionary and a master wordsmith." (AudioFile)
"Neil Gaiman enters Stephen King territory...with American Gods." (New York Post)
"A crackerjack suspense yarn...juicily original...Wagnerian noir." (
"By turns thoughtful, hilarious, disturbing, uplifting, horrifying and enjoyable, and sometimes all at once." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Powerful, Unforgettable Novel

This book is stellar, poetic, intense, magical, engrossing, perceptive, original, imaginative, bizzare, touching, and epic in scale.

Defies classification: Part thriller, part mystery, part fantasy, part road trip, part horror, part history, part comedy and just damn fine storytelling.

I'll admit to not having listened to the audio version yet (it's still downloading), but I INHALED the book. It immediately grabbed my attention and I was whisked away to a different world. The story is by turns funny, disturbing, poignant, uplifing, and always entertaining. Full of powerful imagery, months after finishing it I still find that certain scenes or vingettes come back to me out of the blue.

This is a book that will pleasantly haunt you long after you finish it ... lingering in the recesses of your mind to reappearwhen you least expect it.
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- Muffy S.

Not For Everyone

If you've not read/listened to anything by Neil Gaiman I recommend you don't start with this one.

This book is much darker than his other work; though perhaps bleak is a more accurate word. The pacing is also much slower and it's not a strictly linear plot. Finally, there is a lot of swearing and some rather gruesome passages, but nothing I would call obscene.

So, why did I give it four stars?
The book is full of fascinating ideas. You can read it and re-read it and find interesting new things hidden around every corner.
The depth of the characters is very satisfying. You feel that they aren't just there to further the plot, but that the plot is there to explore their depths.
The main character is, of course, one of the most interesting. "Shadow" as he is aptly named, is not so much a reluctant hero as an apathetic one. After losing everything, he no longer cares what happens to him. So he plunges down the rabbit hole. As things get crazier, he must search within himself to find if can again care about himself or anyone around him.
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- Ben Preston "Rukh03"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-07-2003
  • Publisher: HarperAudio