The Best ‘American Gods’ Quotes That Just Hit Different

It’s been 22 years since ‘American Gods’ was published. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite quotes from this innovative fantasy novel.

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Neil Gaiman is undeniably one of the literary geniuses of the contemporary era. What sets him apart is not only his range but his witty and often times insightful prose. American Gods was published in 2001 and adapted into a television show in 2017. At its most basic theme, this novel discusses the irrelevance of old religions that new religions and technology have replaced. Obviously, this fantasy novel reflects the contemporary era and its progressive questioning of religious rhetoric and the consumption of technological advancement. 

What makes it a cult classic? Oh, the language, the quotes, the beautiful linguistic deference that Gaiman puts to page. As you read through, you’re sure to laugh at the audacity of the character and their actions. You’ll stop reading to sit back and reflect on a particularly insightful piece of dialogue. 

I’ve gathered a few of my particular favorites for your reading pleasure.

You can take the book away from the writer, but you can’t take the writer out of the book.

Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.

What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.

Furthermore, it goes without saying that all of the people, living, dead, and otherwise, in this story are fictional or used in a fictional context. Only the gods are real.


Some Hard Hitting Truths

All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them.

There’s none so blind as those who will not listen.

Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.


Every hour wounds. The last one kills.

Lessons We Should Take to Heart

There’s never been a true war that wasn’t fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.

Liberty,” boomed Wednesday, as they walked to the car, “is a bitch who must be bedded on a mattress of corpses.

I believe […] 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.


Times I Sat in Awe 

Tell him that we fucking reprogrammed reality. Tell him that language is a virus and that religion is an operating system and that prayers are just so much fucking spam.

I believe that anyone who claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too.

Giving a Good Laugh

If Hell is other people… then Purgatory is airports.

I’ll be your puppy. What do you want me to do? Chew your slippers? Piss on the kitchen floor? Lick your nose? Sniff your crotch? I bet there’s nothing a puppy can do that I can’t do!

If you haven’t picked up this book yet, I encourage you to. If for nothing else than to admire a work of exquisite writing in a sub-genre fiction that the stodgy literary critics of old would have passed over for its crass language, religious blasphemy, and fantastical ideas. Thankfully, today’s critics acknowledge the genius behind the novel, and he has been awarded accolades for his innovative fiction. 

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