Days before his release from prison, Shadow learns that his wife has been killed in an accident. On the plane ride back home for the funeral, he meets the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job. Shadow accepts but soon discovers that Mr. Wednesday is far more dangerous than he could ever have imagined and Shadow is now caught in up a war for the very soul of America.
This epic novel combines Mythology, Americana, Fantasy and a classic “road novel” into a story that is like none I’ve ever read. This was the second Gaiman novel I’d ever read (after discovering the hilarious Good Omens, co-written with Terry Pratchett) and I kept reading almost everything I could find by this very talented, popular and critically-acclaimed author. It’s one of those books that grabs you and won’t let go, the kind that you don’t want to put down, yet you don’t want to it to end, either. In fact, when I began our Science Fiction & Fantasy book club, this was our debut selection and a great introduction for those not used to reading Fantasy novels. One of my favorite things about it was trying to identify all of the different mythological deities throughout the story (some are well known but many are not).
This book was winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Locus & Bram Stoker Awards for Best Novel in 2002. If you like it you’ll likely love Anansi Boys also by Gaiman, and you’ll probably enjoy his Sandman graphic novels, Alan Moore’s Promethea series of graphic novels as well as The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
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