The Maker

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The Maker

The Maker
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American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel

American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel

First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic—an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this tenth anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

A storm is coming . . .

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Relevant and prescient, American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.

American Gods is Neil Gaiman’s best and most ambitious novel yet, a scary, strange, and hallucinogenic road-trip story wrapped around a deep examination of the American spirit. Gaiman tackles everything from the onslaught of the information age to the meaning of death, but he doesn’t sacrifice the razor-sharp plotting and narrative style he’s been delivering since his Sandman days.

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

First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic—an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this tenth anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

A storm is coming . . .

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Relevant and prescient, American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.

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3 thoughts on “The Maker

  1. 13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Like Nothing Else, October 1, 2015
    By 

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    This review is from: American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
    This is an amazing book and I struggle to even find words to describe it. I my best estimation, the characters in the book or personifications of things that we idolize in American culture. The story that takes place mostly on the road, on the run, and prisons, national monuments, many strange an unforgettable characters. I would love to see this adapted into a television series. There’s certainly plenty of material for something like that. Gaiman is one of the most imaginative writers around and this book stretches the imagination. I’m not sure if it’s sci-fi, whore, action, drama, comedy, adventure, or some amalgamation of all of the genres on one but it is a great read.
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  2. 6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    American Style Ragnarok, June 8, 2016
    By 
    S. Cranow (ENCINO, CA, US) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
    Neil Gaiman is a fiction author that speaks to me in a non fictional way. Not only does he crank out a good story with a stellar cast of characters but also manages to insert several metaphysical truths. I kind of like to rank him among Chaos magicians and other enlightened Pagan. He has done his reading even if it is not apparent at first.

    Shadow is pulling time in prison for some violent crime . He is accompanied by some dude named Low Key (Loki). He figures later in the story. In any case an early release is granted after his wife Laura and his boss die in a traffick accident. A stranger named Wednesday offered him a job. Wednesday is really Ofin and he has a really big job for Shadow. A new set of gods is trying to muscle in. They are technology gods and they want to keep the same pattern but they want to introduce a new paradigm. Shadow goes on a slew of adventures, some with Egyptian gods and deities from other pantheons. A great war is about to come about. The tech gods are worried for their positions as well because once the gods are forgotten they lose their power and whither away. Things climaxed on a hill called Rocl City. Along the way Shadow solves crimes and meets a vast assortment of characters. He solves murders, reconnects with old friend.

    But I’m the end Odin and Loki have a plan. Elements are pulled from the mythology and are plugged in quite well to the story. The story and the book are great. I found the additional excerpts a bit painful and boring to read after the story was finished. A must read.

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  3. 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Fine, December 7, 2016
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    The appraisal of the novel American Gods by Neil Gaiman, is properly presented using
    an abridged series of judgements.Throughout the novel, these judgements develop from the
    characters we encounter and their context considering the current state of society. Because of
    this, a reader would not question Gaiman’s authority regarding story, but with respect to
    Gaiman’s manner. His approach to writing this novel is rather exceptional; however, some
    weaknesses of how his work is put together are visible, but they are still outweighed by his
    strengths.
    One of Gaiman’s leading strengths is his ability to turn a “road trip” novel into an superb
    and quite lengthy read. The journey of Shadow Moon and Mr. Wednesday across the United
    States gives them the capacity to meet very unique individuals, all possessing contrasting
    backgrounds. This is very clever for Gaiman to do, because in doing this, he is able to tie in
    real-life America. The Old Gods represent the immigrants who came to America in the past.
    These immigrants ushered in dissimilar cultures along with them, making them distinct and
    well-defined groups of people. A connection like this leaves someone into days of yore in good
    spirits. Gaiman appears to in be inclined in Americana, for this subject matter is quite essential
    for producing a classic. The author was definitely trying to do his best by attempting to make this
    novel a hit among America. What makes his attempt even better, are his further connections to
    American culture, which are more inclined to a modern audience. The New Gods represent
    America’s changing society, from a once melting pot to a now monocultural one. These New
    Gods are the most influential out of all of the Gods. They are more powerful in America since it
    is the place where they were created, versus the Old Gods who begin their cycles of incarnation
    in other parts of the world. This makes the entitlement over the country very cutthroat. Readers
    unearthing this, learn that this novel is not just a story but a read of significant proportions. They
    are forced to question the advancement of society and assimilation of others into one culture.
    As well as feel sympathy of the growing left-behind culture.
    Another strength shown by Gaiman, is his successful endeavor at the fantization of a
    familiar world. The United States becomes a land of mythology and curiosity and the alteration
    of the landscape is romanticized. The reader sees something that they are used to, transformed
    into somewhere brand new. Gaiman’s technique creates a “new world” without leaving the “old
    world.” This excites readers, while at the same not trying to bore a reader with a place
    associated with most other reads. This new United States shows us what can be accomplished
    concerning creativity and development as a writer.
    The main weakness that were constructed from Gaiman’s writing, pertained to amount of
    reading needed to finished the novel. Knowing that it was originally already shortened due to it’s
    unnecessary amount of pages, made my opinion on his decision even worse. When a reader is
    finished reading, they should disappointed, not by the content, but by the amount of content.
    One would be able to understand the whole story without having to reading the unnecessary
    amount of subject matter. The short stories entangled in the novel seemed to be there just to fill
    up the book. These stories do support the overarching plot, but they are definitely not needed,
    and do not convince you much more than the main story does. Besides the stories, there is also
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