Mixtape | American Gods

I will save you what would likely be a redundant review of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Yes, it’s as amazing as everyone says it is. Yes, it’s intensely imaginative, epic in scope, and emotionally subdued. And yes, I am looking forward to HBO’s adaptation, tentatively scheduled to premiere late 2013. It’s almost enough to persuade me to get cable television, but not quite (and if Game of Thrones and American Gods can’t do it, nothing can). So if you haven’t read American Gods and it appeals to you in even the vaguest sense, read it, I promise you’ll like it.


I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to live, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system.

I believe that too. I also believe music is a wonderful thing, although I don’t think it’s for the reason most people love it. Regardless, here is a list of songs referenced in American Gods (music experts can probably find more, but I am most certainly not one). Various other people have tackled this as well, more thoroughly than I have, specifically the COMPLETE American Gods Mix Tape was compiled by Tor.com. It includes many of the songs I listed and a great many they found appropriate for the novel. I particularly appreciated their inclusion of Beyond Belief  by Elvis Costello, a truly great pick.

Nottamun Town – various
Walkin’ After Midnight – Patsy Cline
Iko Iko – The Dixie Cups
Who Loves the Sun – The Velvet Underground
The Fool on The Hill – The Beatles
Shadow and Jimmy – Was (Not Was)
Midnight Special – various
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall – Bob Dylan
Bolero – Ravel
Danse Macabre – Camille Sant-Saëns
Octopus Garden – The Beatles
Blue Danube – Johann Strauss II
The Emperor Waltz – Johann Strauss II
(Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
Little Drummer Boy – various
Tango Till They’re Sore – Tom Waits
Winter Wonderland – various
Help – The Beatles
Why Can’t He Be You – Patsy Cline
San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) – Scott McKenzie
Dark Am I Yet Lovely – Sinead O’Connor
Material Girl – Madonna
Old Friends – Stephen Sondheim
In the Dark With You – Greg Brown
Hang Me, Oh Hang Me – various
What’s New Pussycat – Tom Jones
The Way You Look Tonight – Fred Astaire
Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – The Animals


The first night Shadow spends back in his hometown (or Laura’s town, at least), he eats pizza. I can’t argue with that decision and I certainly won’t waste an opportunity to recommend it. So today I’m sharing Grilled Pizza with Arugula and Fontina. I feel obligated to tell you that I do actually eat things other than pizza…


11 thoughts on “Mixtape | American Gods

  1. Game of Thrones is fantastic. That’s likely the only reason I have cable. Well, that and my kids would likely revolt. This is the first I’ve heard of the HBO adaptation. I suppose that means I should get on it and read this?


    1. You should, but no worries if you don’t have a chance to do it before the show – getting through That Old Cape Magic will be time consuming, not to mention NOS4A2 in April. I watched the first and second seasons of Game of Thrones and read the first three books after – it did not diminish my enjoyment of either.

      I did not have cable growing up and I don’t think I missed it…? And I’m too cheap to pay for it now. What I’m really hoping for is a “pay for certain channels” plan.


    1. I’ve been watching for casting news, but haven’t seen anything yet. I heard rumors about Joe Manganiello playing Shadow and I’d support that, but otherwise it’s remained quite mysterious. Gaiman is writing the pilot and then hoping to finish the sequel – that’s all I know so far, but I’m already excited.


    1. I’ve read Neverwhere and am currently listening to the radio version. I liked American Gods, but I’m still trying to decide if I liked the ending. I don’t know that it matters if I did or not – I’ll read the sequel anyway.

      I’m fond of Greek mythology, likely only because it fits in my limited world purview.


      1. Yeah it’s alright, actually – I preferred Neverwhere and American Gods, but that’s not to say I don’t think it’s very good. I didn’t realise there was a sequel to American Gods?

        I liked the ending to American Gods, me sen, but I can see why it might be slightly disappointing..


      2. I’m rarely indecisive about books, so it’s bothering me that I can’t decide – I’ve given it more thought than is probably warranted. And me sen, took me a few moments to figure that out (myself?).

        I think there will be a sequel out in the next few years (in order to be season three of the series).


      3. me sen, yeah it’s (invented by me) northern slang for myself. Try saying aloud in the voice you’d use if you were repeatedly hit in the head to get an idea of how it should sound…


      4. The first line of Anansi Boys is “It begins, as most things begin, with a song”, a rather auspicious start to the book.


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