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American Gods (novel)

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American Gods is a 2001 best-selling and award-winning fantasy novel written by English author Neil Gaiman.


(Publisher's Summary)

A storm is coming....

Locked behind bars for 3 years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow's best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday's bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. It is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own.

Along the way, Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a storm is brewing - an epic war for the very soul of America - and that he is standing squarely in its path.[1]


Main article: Chapters

Hard copy editionsEdit

First editionEdit

  • Published: June 19, 2001
  • Company: Headline (UK), William Morrow (US)
  • Notes: 480 pages

Limited editionEdit

  • Published: 2003
  • Company: Hill House Publishers
  • Notes: Signed, includes additional 12,000 words, known as "author's preferred text"

10th Anniversary editionEdit

  • Published: June 21, 2011
  • Company: William Morrow
  • Notes: Includes additional 12,000 words, known as "author's preferred text"

Audio editionsEdit


  • Voice: George Guidall
  • Released: 2001
  • Producer/publisher: Harper Audio

10th AnniversaryEdit

  • Voice: Full cast
  • Released: 2011
  • Producer/publisher: Harper Audio


The book won the 2002 Hugo, Nebula, Locus, SFX Magazine and Bram Stoker Awards, all for Best Novel, and likewise received nominations for the 2001 BSFA Award, as well as the 2002 World Fantasy, International Horror Guild and Mythopoeic, and British Fantasy awards. It won the 2003 Geffen Award.[2]


According to author Neil Gaiman, a sequel is in the works which will allow the HBO series to move forward beyond season 2. Assuming the series gets underway this year as planned, this means a sequel will be out sometime in 2014/2015.[3]


Main article: American Gods (series)

HBO is planning at least a 6 season run with 10-12 episodes per season. Reports vary, but author Neil Gaiman recently stated at the Cambridge International Student Film Festival that he is working to complete the pilot script for HBO in time to start production this year.[3]


  1. Publisher's Summary via
  2. American Gods @ Wikipedia Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Neil Gaiman Updates Us on HBO's American Gods..., March 1, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2013

Start a Discussion Discussions about American Gods (novel)

  • Favorite Scenes

    4 messages
    • Redlion14 wrote:when he is holding the vigil and ultimately dies for his dad.  I loved that chapter so much and he finally asks Laura to stay...
    • Redlion14 wrote:when Shadow climbs the mountain made of bones and encounters the thunderbirds Do you watch Doctor Who? There was...
  • American Gods Book Club

    • In case anyone is interested, a few people on tumblr have put together...

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