American Gods, essentially, revolves around the concept that what we believe to be real exists simply because we believe it to be real. The protagonist, Shadow, meets a man named Wednesday,who is actually the Norse god Odin, after he learns that his wife is dead. Odin, along with the other gods residing in America, were brought over by immigrants from the old world. But the gods are having trouble surviving, which is all they hope to do, because the band of "new" gods are starting to take over.
Caught in between the old god and the new gods, Shadow embarks on a journey with Wednesday, encountering many gods and legendary beings alike, until death becomes an all too real possibility in Shadow and Wednesday's lives, and Shadow has to figure out the difference between an enemy and an ally.
The book, like many of Neil Gaiman's work, requires a bit more than taking what's on the surface. If you don't have a background knowledge of the gods that he refers to throughout the story, it may not make much sense. It's also not for those looking for an entirely family-friendly story. Gaiman doesn't hesitate to make the gods both divine and inescapably human. - Alex G., class of 2012
On a roadtrip through America, Shadow discovers the American gods that have been awaiting his arrival. On the verge of a war between the gods of old and new they enlist Shadow’s help when, after the death of his wife and best friend, he is left with nothing. It is a novel that will take its reader on Shadow’s journey to peace. American Gods allows exposure to gods of all origins. Gaiman writes with fluidity and adventure that you are transported to a new world filled with gods of all origins. Famous quotes intertwine the chapters until the gaps between have evaporated and all that’s left is its core theme. - Brandie T., Arianna H.