Book review: American Gods

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

From Goodreads

Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what – and who – it finds there…

I had a hard time writing a cohesive review for this one, so this is mainly just my bulleted thoughts less bulleted. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I love Gaiman’s writing and the concept is so interesting and unique. There were just a couple things that kept me from fully enjoying it 100%

Bulleted thoughts

  • It’s very long, which is not necessarily a bad thing, just something to note. The particular version I read is 12,000 words longer than the original version, which added a lot.
  • The old vs. new gods was so interesting. Seeing who the new gods were was cool, and reading a bit about the old gods was so interesting.
  • The way death was handled was really interesting. It makes death less of a permanent thing, which was cool to read.
  • There were some things I thought were unnecessary, the whole part of Lakeside, for example. It was one of my favourite parts to read (I love small-town US where creepy things happen), but it didn’t really fit with the story. Even in the end, it didn’t fit. Like, everything was tied up and there were no real loose ends, but I still didn’t totally understand why it happened (*spoilers* okay, I know it was to hide Shadow, but that wasn’t really explained all that much).
  • There were a ton of characters, which is good, but hard for me. I’m dumb and shit at remembering character names, so when there’s a ton of characters, it’s hard for me to remember who’s who. So I was confused a lot, but again, that’s my fault.

On a more personal note: I mentioned above that the way it deals with death was interesting, and it was and I genuinely enjoyed it. BUT my grandmother passed away while I was reading this book. Right in the middle of when Shadow is staying at a funeral home. AND THEN the next chapter literally starts with a line from my grandmother’s favourite song. So one of the reasons this book took me so long to read was because of that and the fact that I couldn’t deal with it at the time and put the book down for like 3 months. So I genuinely think that this book would have gotten five stars if it wasn’t for this life event happening right in the middle of the book.

Have you read American Gods? What did you think? Let me know!

Thanks for reading! xx

27 thoughts on “Book review: American Gods

  1. Oh, I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother’s passing. It’s frustrating when life events are painfully echoed in books like that. 😦 Glad you still enjoyed the book, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I bought this book recently and it’s sitting on my night stand — I haven’t gotten to it yet. eek. Thanks for the reminder 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry to hear about your grandmother! Grateful for the review. I finished it back in January or early February and haven’t read any other reviews on this book. It took me awhile to get into it, but then it finally grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go until I finished it. I had similar thoughts on the ending…I really expected Shadow to just die or something, as there were so many twists and turns. I stopped trying to figure out what was going to happen next and just enjoyed it, letting it hit me.

    If you haven’t picked them up yet, The Graveyard Book and Neverwhere are nice, easier reads by Gaiman. With The Graveyard Book, I’d recommend his audioversion (just him, not the ensemble cast). His voice is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I agree, it took me a while to get into it too. And glad you agree.

      I’ve read the Graveyard Book and loved it! Neverwhere is on my TBR and I hope to get to it soon!


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