YMMV / American Gods

  • Broken Base: Gaiman notes in the 10th Anniversary edition how this is one of his most controversial books. Many fans find Shadow too unlikable and the plot too wandering, but many others consider the book to be quite good and don't mind the wandering plot.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: In hindsight, the fact that Low-Key Lyesmith is Loki is ridiculously obvious and many readers (as well as Shadow) kick themselves for not seeing it sooner.
  • Ending Fatigue: Some releases of the book just keep going. Depending on the release, the plot can be followed with two epilogues and a continuation through a spin-off short story. Firstly, the named "Epilogue" chapters appear to tie up the remaining loose ends and character threads; the "Post Script" chapter, which sees Shadow visit Reykjavik and briefly chat with the original incarnation of Odin; and then, in some releases, a few chapters that see Shadow visiting Scotland and taking on a single job.
  • Genius Bonus: Anyone who knows the origins of the names of the days of the week (etc. "Friday is Freyja's day") can figure out Mr. Wednesday's real identity pretty quickly.
    • Not only that, but in general the more mythology you know the more you will get. In a book that explicitly contains Norse gods it would be unusual for there to be two redheads with scarred lips, eh?
    • Hinzelmann is based on the legend of a kobold named Heinzelmann, whose true form was of a small child with two swords impaled in his body. Also, it was said that if he was ever chased out of his house, evil luck would follow. In the end, it's implied without Hinzelmann alive the town of Lakeside will no longer be the idyllic, slice-of-heaven town it is now.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Technical Boy is always seen smoking a cigarette that is described as giving an odor of "burned electronic components". Years later, electronic cigarettes and vaping mecame a major fad, including in the tech crowd...and sure enough, the TV series' incarnation of TB has a vape pen.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Even Shadow feels a little sorry for the Technical Boy in the Hell Hotel.
  • Narm:
    • In the 10th-anniversary edition audiobook version of American Gods, Mad Sweeney's Final Speech is ruined for Jewish viewers because the way he pronounces "boobies" is identical to the Yiddish bubby, or grandmother. What kind of fortune teller would let an old drunken leprechaun play with her grandmothers? Perhaps he just really wanted some Christmas Cake...
    • This audiobook in particular has some bad moments, including Bilquis' line delivery in general. She has a bad over-the-top hiss, an unidentifiable fake accent, and sounds more like an extremely bad attempt at a campy 60's Catwoman than she really should.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Hinzelmann. The story of the tribe that creates its own god from a murdered child, who in turn, a few thousand years later, settles down in Lakeside and kills another child each year.
  • Squick:
    • Many examples: a man eaten by a vagina, that very man-eating goddess being ground into a bloody smear by a limousine, almost any scene in the last half of the book involving Laura...
    • Media taking over Lucille Ball's image on an episode of I Love Lucy and offering to show Shadow Lucy's breasts. Thankfully, Shadow turns the television off before she can do it.
    • Wednesday getting half his head blown off. Followed by instant replay!
      • Wednesday's earlier Kavorka Man antics at Christmas with the poor hapless waitress, which Shadow watches with growing discomfort. Two peak points: Shadow likening the waitress to a fawn too young to know that it met an extremely hungry and crafty wolf and if she doesn't run now, she will be ripped apart, and Shadow telling Wednesday she is barely even legal by the looks of her, to which Wednesday glibly answers he was never concerned with legality and though the women he picks generally have fathers and often brothers or even husbands, he will skip town before they find out. Even worse when he reveals that he put two charms on her, one to lure her in and one to make sure she will never love another. And he has done this to many others. Including Shadow's own mother. Which Shadow gets to see in part.
  • The Woobie: Poor Shadow doesn't catch a break throughout. When he finally dies by hanging from the World Tree for nine days, just like Odin/Wednesday before him, his last request is to be left alone in The Nothing After Death. Of course, that doesn't last long, since Eostr/Easter brings him back to life for the final battle.