Author: Neil Gaiman
Category: Fiction Fantasy
Synopsis (c/o Barnes&Noble): "Shadow dreamed of nothing but leaving prison and starting a new life. But the day before his release, his wife and best friend are killed in an accident. On the plane home to the funeral, he meets Mr. Wednesday—a beguiling stranger who seems to know everything about him. A trickster and rogue, Mr. Wednesday offers Shadow a job as his bodyguard. With nowhere left to go, Shadow accepts, and soon learns that his role in Mr. Wednesday's schemes will be far more dangerous and dark than he could have ever imagined. For beneath the placid surface of everyday life a war is being fought—and the prize is the very soul of America."
This is honestly one of my favorite novels of all time. I think I have re-read it at least a dozen times, if not more. I never get bored with the plot, always learn something new that I had missed before, and always finish the story wanting to go and write my own. Gaiman has this extraordinary way of drawing the reader in with his ability to convey details without all the cheesiness, and doesn't bombard you with too much at one time.
One of my favorite parts about this story (and I hope I'm not giving too much away) is the unique idea Gaiman writes about. The main character, Shadow, runs into the old gods of other countries; Oden, Czernobóg, Eostre, Shiva, and so many more. Together, they are battling the new gods of America; money, credit cards, television, fame, technology, and everything else we "worship" in our daily lives. Shadow provides to be a vital key to the solution as both sides gather to battle.
While this novel appears to dabble in religion, that could not be further from the truth. This novel neither promotes paganism, nor Christianity. Please do not let the presence of other religious deities keep you from experiencing such an amazing example of modern day genius. On the other hand, please do not expect Gaiman to conclude with the realization of a one true God. It is just a story for fun, and I do hope you enjoy!