I think this was the first actual novel by Neil Gaiman that I ever picked up: I'd read Don't Panic, his biography-cum-review of Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy years ago, long before he became known for his own stuff. And of course, I'd worked my way through the Sandman graphic novels which took him from aspiring author to multi-million best seller. But somehow, I'd managed to avoid his actual books like Neverwhere and Stardust.
So, I can only say I was pleasantly, overwhelmingly surprised by American Gods. I suspected it'd be good, but not this good... Genre-wise, I'd have to put it in the 'Urban Fantasy' section where most of Neil's stuff resides, a contemporary setting where odd things are happening... in the case of this book, the odd things being old gods, new beliefs, and a war between them.
Highly recommended to just about anyone I can think of.