American Gods

By Neil Gaiman,

Book cover of American Gods

Book description

Now a STARZ® Original Series – Season 3 premiere in January 2021

“Pointed, occasionally comic, often scary, consistently moving and provocative….American Gods is strewn with secrets and magical visions.”—USA Today

Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text. A modern masterpiece from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil…

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Why read it?

11 authors picked American Gods as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Gaiman doesn’t just incorporate one myth into his story; he goes for them all and brings all the gods to America.

This novel defies categorizing. I have always been interested in probing the nature of religion and humanity’s invention of gods. How did we first encounter them, and are they still relevant in today’s world? How does the nature of story itself relate to the lives of the gods?

All of these points are dealt with in this unique and entirely new introduction to some very old gods. I found it not only highly entertaining but thought-provoking.

From Terry's list on mythic fantasy novels.

Mythology meets the new age. This was the first book I ever read by Neil Gaiman, and I was immediately hooked.

I love mythology. I love Norse mythology specifically. I picked up this book wanting to get more from this author after reading one of his short stories. I was not disappointed.

I loved the way technology became its own type of gods and goddesses. Technology rules our lives so much, and I just have never found a better means of shaping that in a way that fits so nicely with the idea of old magic falling victim to the…

American Gods was my first foray into the world of Neil Gaiman and has not been the last.

Dark and gritty, American Gods is the story of Shadow, a man released from prison early following the tragic death of his wife. We follow his existential struggle as he experiences such profane trauma and sorrow while simultaneously wading into a war between gods both old and new fighting to stay relevant in a world of people that care less about ancient religions.  

But, for me at least, the story about the gods struggling to stay relevant was overshadowed (pun intended) by…

Lightning Strike Blues

By Gayleen Froese,

Book cover of Lightning Strike Blues

Gayleen Froese Author Of Lightning Strike Blues

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Communications officer Singer-songwriter Fan of all animals Role-playing geek Nature photographer

Gayleen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

One summer night in a small prairie city, 18-year-old Gabriel Reece accidentally outs himself to his redneck brother Colin, flees on his motorcycle, and gets struck by lightning on his way out of town.

He’s strangely fine, walking away from his melted pile of bike without a scratch. There’s no time to consider his new inhuman durability before his brother disappears and his childhood home burns down. He’s become popular, too—local cops and a weird private eye are after him, wanting to know if his brother is behind a recent murder.

Answers might be in the ashes of the house where Gabe and Colin grew up, if Gabe and his friends can stay alive and out of jail long enough to find them.

Lightning Strike Blues

By Gayleen Froese,

What is this book about?

On Friday, Gabriel Reece gets struck by lightning while riding his motorcycle.

It's not the worst thing that happens to him that week.

Gabe walks away from a smoldering pile of metal without a scratch-or any clothes, which seem to have been vaporized. And that's weird, but he's more worried about the sudden disappearance of his brother, Colin, who ditched town the second Gabe accidentally outed himself as gay.

Gabe tries to sift through fragmented memories of his crummy childhood for clues to his sudden invincibility, but he barely has time to think before people around town start turning up…

Imagine Gaiman’s pitch for American Gods: I’m going to write a book about what happened to the gods that immigrants to this country brought with them then abandoned, the gods we’ve since created and begun to worship, and the gods who have been here all along. 

There are 100—1000—ways that this unbelievably ambitious, complex, layered, and resonant story could have gone wrong, and it would be enough that it doesn’t.  But Gaiman isn’t content just to successfully tell a huge story. He also nestles an intimate, deeply personal story of one man’s self-discovery at the heart of American Gods,…

I enjoyed the juxtaposition of fantasy and present-day situations. This book was right in my wheelhouse if you like—the concept of ancient Gods still extant but having been marginalised by the modern world and its new technologies. It’s part murder mystery, road trip, and exploration of the mythical elements that have intrigued readers for generations. American Gods is fun and is written slightly tongue-in-cheek. What’s not to like?

Bringing life to the old myths and gods of the world, American Gods is a thrilling adventure where the gods of the old world, gods of legend, wage war against the new gods born in this modern world. Weaving pagan, Christian, old world, and new world mythology, Neil Gaiman creates a rich tapestry of new legend infused with the stories of old.

The old gods and new are on a collision course to a seemingly inevitable war and we’re taken along for the ride through the eyes of Shadow Moon, a recently widowed, small-time criminal, just released from jail. He hooks up with the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, working as a driver-cum-bodyguard-cum-odd job man, who guides him through the margins of a little-seen United States. Neil Gaiman’s novel of magical realism brilliantly sets up a world that we almost recognise as our own, but is somehow two clicks south of reality, weaving in the oddities of roadside attractions, with folklore and ancient stories…

From Geoff's list on magic, heroes, and rock ‘n’ roll.

American Gods has everything to do with mythology and travel and is a social commentary about the morals of modern-day society. We follow the life of Shadow Moon after his release from prison and the death of his wife through a gritty, dark, gory world where ancient gods are struggling against the ‘new’ gods. People have lost their connection to nature, family values, and their spiritual identity, and they no longer pray to Odin, Czernobog, or the Queen of Sheeba. Now they worship media, the internet, and credit cards. The old gods want their place back, the new gods want…

No one takes classic supernatural characters that we all know and spins them into enigmatic, mysterious characters like Neil Gaiman.  American Gods is a blend of Americana, fantasy, and various strands of ancient and modern mythology, all centering on the mysterious Shadow Moon. The Old Gods have been forgotten, losing power to technology and media, new gods to a new generation of followers, but the oldest god of them all, Odin, has a plan to become relevant again and it all centers on Shadow Moon.

From Stephen's list on with a twist on supernatural monsters.

Out of all of my recommendations, this one probably has the most diversity. I feel Gaiman captured American culture through his immigrant eyes (he mentioned he had moved at the end of the book). There were Egyptian Gods, Hindu Gods, German fae I had never heard of, African Gods, and pagan Gods from all over. It really made me think about how American culture is like a patchwork quilt. But I also managed to learn a lot about legends I simply hadn't been exposed to yet.

From Helen's list on learning the old legends.

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