American Gods: Book Review

There are many renditions of Gods and Norse mythology in literature. Yet Neil Gaiman’s American Gods shines bright and tells an original tale like no other. Find out why American Gods has become a mainstream success and why you should read it. 

American Gods Summary

Shadow is let out of prison three days early to attend his wife’s funeral. To make matters worse, Shadow’s wife died with another lover. As Shadow heads back home, he meets Wednesday  who offers him a job as his bodyguard.

With nothing to go back to, Shadow takes Wednesday’s offer and they  travel across the United States. Wednesday tells Shadow that he is the god Odin the All-father and that he is recruit other gods to fight beside him. The new gods and the old gods plant to fight to the death and determine the fate of the world. 

American Gods by Neil Gaiman book cover
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Shadow finds himself caught in the middle and helps Odin in any way possible. But his dead wife starts showing up in his dreams warning him of trouble and not to trust Odin. Will the old gods win against the battle against the new gods and why was Shadow dragged into this?


American Gods was the book that made me dive into the Neil Gaiman world. His writing and story-telling are unmatched. It is no surprise that he is as popular as he is. And unlike most authors, he doesn’t dive into trilogies and instead chooses to build new worlds and characters.

I know that many people including me would have loved for the story of Shadow and Odin to continue. Yet I enjoyed being able to jump into another fantasy world and discovering new characters and plots. As readers, we are rapacious and always want more from our favorite authors. But we should let them choose what stories they want to pursue. 

American Gods Trailer


The novel has a dark overtone and has a bunch of adult-themed content so I wouldn’t recommend it for people under 16. With that said, I do think that this novel is a great read and should be read. Not everyone I know who has read this novel is a fan but you can’t deny the amazing story-telling superpower that Gaiman possesses. 

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14 thoughts on “American Gods: Book Review

  1. S.Z. Estavillo says:

    I listened to the book on Overdrive the audiobook listening app that connects to your local library. I thought it was very well done as well.

  2. Liz Dexter says:

    This is one I really should read, as I am a bit obsessive about the Norse gods and enjoyed his straighter retelling he did a few years ago. My husband has listened to the audiobook and really enjoyed it, too.

  3. prairiehousebooks says:

    The book that got me into Niel Gaiman was Good Omens. I had actually read his Norse Mythology before that, but I didn’t make the connection until later. I loved the TV series and am still angry it got canceled with the cliff-hanger. The material in the show was just different enough from the books to keep me involved. Like all authors, he’s got to have a bad book out there somewhere, but I have yet to find it.


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