Biggest regret of my life? Getting the audiobook version of American Gods. I really wanted to read American Gods because I’ve heard a million good things and the upcoming miniseries looks interesting, however 600+ pages seemed daunting so I tracked down an audio copy from my local library. Unfortunately, my commute never seemed long enough (for once) and it took me nearly three weeks to get through the CDs since my car is my only CD player. Needless to say, I probably would have blown through this one in a matter of days if I’d gotten a hard copy..
“All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them.”
After three years behind bars Shadow is due to be released from prison, unfortunately a few days before his release his wife, Laura, dies in a car crash with his best friend. On Shadow’s plane ride home he meets a mysterious man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday; Wednesday seems to know a lot about Shadow and he offers Shadow a job. After Laura’s funeral Shadow travels around with Wednesday as a bodyguard/ chauffeur as Wednesday attempts to round up his friends for a big meeting. These friends turn out to be Gods who came from the Old World and are beginning to fade as “new” Gods gain prominence in America. Mr. Wednesday, the Norse God Odin, is attempting to rally his counterparts against these new Gods. Shadow is then “parked” in Lake Side, IL while Wednesday gets more support. He’s supposed to stay under the radar but that’s hard to do when you’re a key player in the Storm that’s coming…
“I think I would rather be a man than a god. We don’t need anyone to believe in us. We just keep going anyhow. It’s what we do.”
The storytelling is amazing. Gaiman has periodic interludes explaining how some of the old Gods wound up in American to begin with which fleshes out some of the more obscure Gods. Everything is connected, tiny details turn into larger plot points and everything is tied up neatly, but not too neatly.
“Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.”