Wednesday's world harbors secrets, that the living and the dead are all around him, and that nothing is what it appears. As a storm of epic proportions threatens to break all around them, Shadow and Wednesday get swept up in a conflict as old as humanity itself; for beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a pitched battle is being fought over America's soul.
As unsettling as it is exhilarating, American Gods is a dark and kaleidoscopic journey into 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 is the critically acclaimed author of the novels American Gods winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel , Stardust winner of the American Library Association's Alex Award , and the award-winning Sandman series of graphic novels, as well as Smoke and Mirrors , a collection of short fiction, and Coraline winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novella , a tale for readers of all ages.
Originally from England, Gaiman now lives in America. Was this sense of near epic scope implicit in your original conception of the book, or did your story, like Tolkien 's, grow in the telling? Neil Gaiman: I always knew it was going to be a big book -- I don't think I really knew just how big until it became apparent that I was already , words into the book and I was only half way through the story.
It took me twice as long to write as I had expected and planned. It certainly grew in the telling; and to be honest, I suspect that if someone had said "Here, take another year on it," it would have been half as long again.
America's such a big country that trying to squeeze even a small bit of it into a book demands a big book. How important was this influence?
American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition
Has Ellison's work in general played a significant role in your own artistic development? Harlan was certainly an influence, although just as important were James Branch Cabell 's gods in Something About Eve , who existed because they were believed in and, when they were no longer believed in, walked down the road to yesteryear, and Roger Zelazny 's people-as-gods in Lord of Light and gods-as-people in Creatures of Light and Darkness.
All of the books and authors I read as a boy. Harlan was certainly the first time, as a reader, I became aware of a writer as a person through the work. There's a white-hot fierceness to the best of Ellison that I would love to have in my own work. I was thrilled when he broke his rule about not giving blurbs to give American Gods an unsolicited blurb Another influence, of course, in many ways, was The Sandman. To what extent does the novel represent your attempt to assess and come to terms with your adopted country? But living here made me reassess everything I had seen -- and every way I had seen the media portray America.
I thought it would be a good thing to try and put the America I saw down on paper.
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Has novel writing become your preferred form of expression, or are you equally interested in exploring a variety of forms? NG: In many ways right now, writing novels is the next form I'm trying to master. I felt like I got pretty good at comics, and I'm fairly comfortable with my ability to write short stories.
American Gods is the first novel I've written that I felt I was beginninng to show any sign of talent at the medium. It's also, of course, the first original solo novel I've done. Neverwhere and Good Omens and Stardust were either collaborative or began life in other media. I'm no less intersted or active in other forms though. Do you have the sense that this audience has followed you into your recent forays into prose fiction Neverwhere, Stardust, Smoke and Mirrors , etc.
NG: It's hard to tell -- Sandman sold in astounding quantities, and while the novels also sell astonishingly well, it seems to me like half of the readers were Sandman readers, while half of them had no idea who or what I was and just picked up the books because they liked the look of the covers or read a good review. I suspect that also Neverwhere and Stardust while popular, award-winning, and bestselling wouldn't have given Sandman readers the same buzz they got from Sandman -- they were an adventure novel and a fairy tale respectively.
American Gods has the same kind of meat that Sandman did, I think. NG: Yes. Do you have anything to report either on the rumored sequel or on the possibility of a film adaptation?
NG: Terry Gilliam is signed to direct it and has just written the first draft of a script. I'm excited. Can you tell us anything about this project? Let's see what happens. NG: I think it's going to be short projects for a little while. And then I'll want to take refuge in a longer project.
Would you care to single out some good writers who have been slightly less fortunate, writers who deserve -- but have not yet received -- a larger share of the public's attention? John Harrison ; John M. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD 9. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. About the Author. Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota. Date of Birth: November 10, Place of Birth: Portchester, England. Read an Excerpt Chapter One The boundaries of our country, sir? Gallows humor.
Best kind there is.
American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition on Apple Books
He could see nothing romantic in a death sentence. Shadow's lists got shorter and shorter. After two years he had it down to three things. You're learning. American Gods. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Show More. Reading Group Guide Introduction Shadow Moon spent three years in prison, keeping his head down, doing his time. Where is he at the end? Of the many characters he encounters along the way, which did you find mostmemorable? What did you make of Shadow's obsession with coin tricks? How did you interpret his determination to participate in the vigil for Wednesday?
How does Laura die? Were you surprised by what happens at her funeral? How does she come to Shadow's aid? What explains the phenomenon of her persistence in the world of the living? How does Shadow release her from her state of limbo? How would you describe Wednesday? How does he interact with Shadow at the start of the book? Did you find any of his grifter schemes especially entertaining?
What is his connection to Odin? By the end of American Gods , what relationship between Wednesday and Shadow is revealed? Who is Czernobog? How would you describe him? What is his relationship with the three Zoryas? What did you make of this group? What role did they play in Shadow's experiences?
Do you think there's any element of truth to it? Starz developed a television series from the novel with Bryan Fuller and Michael Green. At the end of season 1, Fuller stepped down as showrunner and was replaced by Jesse Alexander. The two had previously worked together on Star Trek: Discovery and Hannibal.
Nancy Anansi , the spider god of African legend. He had plans for a sequel even while writing the first book. He said he is likely to focus on New Gods in the sequel.