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American Gods Study Guide & Plot Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 80 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of American Gods.
This section contains 499 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our American Gods Study Guide

American Gods Summary & Study Guide Description

American Gods Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Plot Summary

American Gods, a fiction fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman, concerns Shadow Moon, who is in prison. The warden tells him his wife Laura died. Shadow is released and takes a plane to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man named Mr. Wednesday offers Shadow a job. He knows about Laura, which unsettles Shadow, so he gets off the plane and rents a car. Mr. Wednesday tracks him and offers him a job to be his assistant and Shadow accepts. Wednesday's associate, Mad Sweeney, tells Shadow that he is a leprechaun. The next day, Shadow wakes up in a car with Wednesday. He finds a gold coin from Mad Sweeney. Shadow goes to Laura's burial and throws the gold coin into the grave. At a motel, Shadow wakes up in the night and sees Laura. She tells Shadow the gold coin brought her back, but her body is still dead.

Shadow and Wednesday go to the House on the Rock for a meeting. They meet two men, Czernobog and Mister Nancy. Shadow sees that Wednesday, Czernobog, and Mr. Nancy are gods who came to America when the people who believed in them came to America. Wednesday is the Norse god Odin. Wednesday tells the other gods that the new gods hate the old and he wants to band together against the new gods. The new gods are what people worship now, like internet, media, and drugs. Wednesday tells Shadow he is going to live in Lakeside between trips. In Lakeside, Shadow meets Hinzelmann who tells him about a raffle to guess which day an old car will fall through the ice on the lake. When Shadow returns to Lakeside, Chad Mulligan tells him a girl is missing.

After some trips with Wednesday, Lakeside policeman Chad Mulligan arrests Shadow for parole violation. While Shadow is in prison, the new gods manipulate the television and show Wednesday get shot. Czernobog and Mr. Nancy pick Shadow up. They arrange to pick up Wednesday's body. Shadow recognizes one of the new god's men as Low Key Lyesmith, a friend from prison, who is the god Loki. Shadow performs a vigil for Wednesday's body by being tied to the World Tree for nine days, and dies after three days. The gods assemble at Rock City for the war. Laura stabs Mr. World, one of the new gods' men, with a stick from the World Tree. Shadow arrives, and Wednesday tells him that he and Loki, who was Mr. World, were behind the war so they could feed off of the power expended during the battle. Shadow tells the gods that Loki and Wednesday have tricked them. The gods leave the battle. Shadow takes the gold coin from Laura and she dies. Shadow returns to Lakeside and finds the missing girl's body in the car on the ice. Shadow confronts Hinzelmann, who is a mythical creature, about killing children as a sacrifice to keep the town prosperous. Chad Mulligan comes into the room and shoots Hinzelmann in the head.

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This section contains 499 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our American Gods Study Guide
American Gods from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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