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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
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I'm not sure I would have read this whole book without the recommendation of a friend I really trust. Read morePublished 13 hours ago by hazeme
Brilliant, twisty, subversive, intelligent. A true masterpiece of any fiction. Vivid characters and a plot that keeps you guessing til the end. One of his best.Published 1 day ago by Lynn
A must read for fantasy lovers. The author has a way with characters that I love.Published 2 days ago by BorisTheBad
A good book, original idea's. I especially like that "Americana" feel.Published 4 days ago by jtvander
One of the most complex and fascinating books I have ever read. Each time I revisit it, I find some new depth that I missed before. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Da Mothership
No character development. Shadow's character doesn't seem phased by anything thats going on around him. Nothing spectacular happens. it was a struggle to get through. Read morePublished 4 days ago by ada