Neil Gaiman's American Gods is an epicly original tale that mixes new and old into a delicious, cerebral soup.
With myth and metaphor, Gaiman explores the human condition, specifically the American one, through a dirty lens. This book is a mixture of creepy and scary, and its many stories will pull you in until you are cocooned in awe and emotion.
The overarching premise is how the old gods that have been brought to America by immigrants via myth and legend are truly alive and among us. But because American culture has no appreciation, they are slowly withering away, forced to inhabit the darker corners of society. The new gods, however, those of technology and the media, are constantly growing stronger, and they have decided there is no room for the old anymore. What is worse, they might have the power to destroy the gods of old forever.
It's written so well, that it is impossible not to enjoy, regardless of whether you have a bone to grind with the slight political slant that you could argue the book has. Put your prejudices aside and read this great piece of literature.
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. More on Goodreads.