Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
American Gods: Introduction
American Gods: Plot Summary
American Gods: Detailed Summary & Analysis
American Gods: Themes
American Gods: Quotes
American Gods: Characters
American Gods: Symbols
American Gods: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Neil Gaiman
Historical Context of American Gods
Other Books Related to American Gods
- Full Title: American Gods
- When Written: June 1998 to February 2001
- Where Written: Neil conceived of the idea for American Gods on a trip to Iceland, then wrote the bulk of the novel while traveling around the United States (specifically Chicago, Florida, Las Vegas, and other locations). He finished editing and revising in Ireland.
- When Published: June 19, 2001
- Literary Period: Post-modernism, Contemporary
- Genre: Americana, Fantasy, Mythology
- Setting: America
- Climax: Shadow figures out the truth behind the prosperity of the town of Lakeside, after hanging to die on a tree as a sacrifice for Odin and learning his true identity as Odin’s son.
- Antagonist: The New Gods, Mr. World (Loki), and Mr. Wednesday (Odin)
- Point of View: Third person omniscient
Extra Credit for American Gods
Popularity and Relevance. American Gods has been adapted into a television series by Starz, which premiered in April 2017. The series has been accepted well by critics, especially for the unplanned political overtones of its pro-immigration stance in the tense environment surrounding immigrants during Trump’s presidency.
Industry Secrets. Gaiman has kept a blog of the entire writing and copy-editing process for American Gods preserved on his website. Gaiman offers insight into the novel itself, as well as a peek into the world of publishing and all the things that have to happen after a book is written and before it can be read by the public.