1. American Gods is an epic novel dealing with many big themes, including sacrifice, loyalty, betrayal, love and faith. Which theme affected you the most strongly, and why?
2. Shadow begins the novel as a convict, and ends it a different man. How does the novel exploit the idea of America as a place where immigrants and exiles, both physical and emotional, can reinvent themselves? What makes Shadow himself so compelling and complex?
3. American Gods is partly road trip through small-town America, where Shadow can see the darker side of life that other people ignore. What does the novel say about what people will accept in order to maintain a sense of normality?
4. The old gods expect sacrifice, violence and worship? How have the adapted to the modern world? What does this say about the nature of divinity? How and why have Americans transferred their devotion to the new technological and material gods from the old spiritual gods? What comment is being made about modern cultural values?
5. What is the significance of the illusions, cons and magic tricks that occur throughout the novel? American Gods is a novel where magic, myth and the divine coexist with the normal, mundane and human in a way that is utterly believable. How is this illusion maintained?
6. How does the rick background description increase the power of the narrative? What dot he secondary characters, particularly the gods whose lives and deaths we are given a brief insight into, add to the novel?
7. Would you recommend this to anyone? Would you read any other of Neil Gaiman's work? If you would which ones look interesting to you? And if you have which ones would you recommend?
Check out the other Neil Gaiman books Lisa's read here and here and here