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American Gods Summary

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American Gods PDFWho Should Read “American Gods”? And Why?

“American Gods” is a rich fantasy story that takes you on a journey through the heart of America, where you will find out a lot about the world and all of its dark places – while having a lot of fun on the way.

We recommend it to all readers who have already seen the tv-show and liked it, as well as to fantasy fans hunting for books that are completely off the wall.

Neil Gaiman Biography

Neil GaimanNeil Gaiman is a best selling English author that creates stories in just about any form: short stories, screenplays, novels, comic books et cetera.


Shadow Moon is a convict and serves his sentence in prison.

One day, he receives word that his wife and his best friend lost their lives in a tragic car accident. When the warden tells him this news, he does not seem able to understand what he is saying.

He just nods numbly.

The warden worriedly tells him that he will be released the next day, and will be able to stay out for a few days to organize his wife’s funeral.

Shadow sits in an airplane, where he ended up through a series of profoundly odd events. Next to him sits a man who seems to know a lot about his life. This man’s name is Mr. Wednesday, though it is a fabrication, a name everyone calls him.

He makes an offer to Shadow to work for him. Shadow does not accept his offer, but Wednesday is persistent and shows up everywhere Shadow goes, until he finally accepts, losing at a coin toss.

Shadow’s words that he will do the job are not enough for Mr. Wednesday, and he insists that they “seal the deal” by Shadow drinking three glasses of Mead.

Mead is a honey wine, that is known as a drink of the Gods, and Mr. Wednesday explains that it is a tradition.

After they finish sealing the deal, Wednesday asks about his job description.

Well, it was about time!

Wednesday answers a bit vaguely, telling him that he has to take care of him and help him with whatever he needs.

That sounds shady, doesn’t it? Well, Shadow does not seem to think so and continues with the employment deal.

After his job begins, he realizes that Mr. Wednesday is a con artist.

But he is quite good at it!

He knows how to charm people and take their money, without them even noticing they are gone. He also uses his charm always to get what he wants.

The first night of employment, Shadow gets a magic coin by a man that introduces himself as Mad Sweeney, and that is a Leprechaun from Ireland if you believe his claims. Later on, when Shadow attends his wife’s funeral, he throws this coin in her coffin as a parting gift.

Just shortly after, she rises from the dead.

No, I do not mean she gets up from the coffin, but she surprises him showing up in his motel room, where he is staying with Wednesday. Later we find out that the coin that he threw in the coffin was deeply powerful and that it is responsible for the resurrection.

Back to Shadow and his dead-alive wife: he hardly reacts to the horrifying sight.

All of these strange events make him realize that Wednesday is not an ordinary man – in fact, he is an incarnation of Odin, the Norse God. After this revelation, he starts meeting many other gods, which have been erased from memory.

Wednesday hates that they are forgotten, so he tries to gather the old Gods together in order to create an army strong enough to fight the new Gods.

Working for Wednesday soon gets Shadow in trouble with the new Gods: after a big meeting of the old Gods, he is kidnapped.

Two henchmen of the new Gods question him, but he is ultimately saved by his dead (uh, or is she alive?) wife Laura, who kills the men that have captured him and frees him.

He is afraid since he believes he will be blamed for the murders, and she makes him leave before anyone discovers the dead bodies.

Shadow does so, and finds himself in the woods, following a big raven that leads him to Cairo in Illinois. He is instructed to find two people and to help them. These two are actually incarnated of Anubis and Thoth, the old Egyptian gods, and live running a funeral home.

There, he also meets another incarnate of an Egyptian goddess – Bastet, in the form of a cat.

As we understand, later on, the new gods are Money, Technology, Media, Drugs and everything else that rules this modern world. They have their eye on Shadow and want to recruit him as their worker.

Why does everybody want him to get him on their side? Why is this guy so important?

Well, nobody seems to know that just yet.

And if you want to find out, then you know what you should do, right?

If you do not know the answer just yet, read on.

American Gods Epilogue

I didn’t even tell you the whole story, and I have arrived at the epilogue.

Sorry – our space is limited.

The ending is quite nice and warm, really – Shadow makes amends to all the people he has met during his acquaintance with Mr. Wednesday.

Of course, before he does that, he uncovers the truth about who he is, and why he is so important.

But, going back to the answer of our previous question, in order to find that out, along with all the subplots and layers of the book – you will have to go straight to the source.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“American Gods PDF Quotes”

I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. Click To Tweet I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. Click To Tweet All your questions can be answered if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them. Click To Tweet Even nothing cannot last forever. Click To Tweet Every hour wounds. The last one kills. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

I have no better way to explain “American Goods” than “so cool, I want to scream it from a rooftop.”

Okay, I got a little too subjective and emotional back there.

The story is so fresh and compelling, and the narrative is filled with all these details and twists that you just never want it to end.

Or, if you are like me, you hate the fact that you didn’t think of a story like that yourself.

Read the book, watch the tv-series, and completely immerse yourself into this fictional world. It will be quite a ride!

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