It has been a decade since #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book) rocked the literary world with American Gods—his breathtaking tale of the war on Earth between old gods and new. For those who have yet to experience Gaiman’s bestselling tour de force—a novel USA Today called “a powerful, searing force that makes readers confront what is real and what is not”—and for those eager to enter this astonishing world again, comes the Author’s Preferred Text 10th Anniversary Edition. Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Bram Stoker Awards, with a special introduction by the author, this is American Gods as Neil Gaiman always meant it to be.
Shadow gets out of prison early when his wife is killed in a car crash. At a loss, he takes up with a mysterious character called Wednesday, who is much more than he appears. In fact, Wednesday is an old god, once known as Odin the All-father, who is roaming America rounding up his forgotten fellows in preparation for an epic battle against the upstart deities of the Internet, credit cards, television, and all that is wired. Shadow agrees to help Wednesday, and they whirl through a psycho-spiritual storm that becomes all too real in its manifestations. For instance, Shadow's dead wife Laura keeps showing up, and not just as a ghost--the difficulty of their continuing relationship is by turns grim and darkly funny, just like the rest of the book.
Armed only with some coin tricks and a sense of purpose, Shadow travels through, around, and underneath the visible surface of things, digging up all the powerful myths Americans brought with them in their journeys to this land as well as the ones that were already here. Shadow's road story is the heart of the novel, and it's here that Gaiman offers up the details that make this such a cinematic book--the distinctly American foods and diversions, the bizarre roadside attractions, the decrepit gods reduced to shell games and prostitution. "This is a bad land for Gods," says Shadow.
More than a tourist in America, but not a native, Neil Gaiman offers an outside-in and inside-out perspective on the soul and spirituality of the country--our obsessions with money and power, our jumbled religious heritage and its societal outcomes, and the millennial decisions we face about what's real and what's not. --Therese Littleton