Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.
Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
A perennial favorite of readers worldwide, American Gods tells the story of ex-con Shadow Moon, who emerges from prison and is recruited to be bodyguard, driver, and errand boy for the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday. So begins a dark and strange road trip full of fantastical adventures and a host of eccentric characters. For, beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and Shadow is standing squarely in its path.
This annotated volume of the Author’s Preferred Text features analysis from Leslie S. Klinger. His trenchant commentary identifies gods and supernatural beings, elucidates key phrases, and shows how Gaiman built his award-winning novel, giving readers unparalleled insight into the story and into Gaiman’s creative process and authorial decisions. Carefully chosen illustrations complement and illuminate the narrative.