This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

This is the third novel by Neil Gaiman that I have read. And while I wouldn't put any of his three books in my top list of best books, I do love Neil Gaiman's writing style. It doesn't even make sense to me to have the author as one of my favorites but not his books...but this is how I feel.

The book is a tome. Five hundred eight-eight pages in paperback. But it is filled to the hilt with amazing characters and quotes. I did not start writing or citing pages with great quotes until latest, so I missed all that I read early on.

The story is about a convict-soon-to-be-an-ex-convict and the many people he meets after his release.

Shadow is released from prison early. It almost seems as though the warden is NOT going to let Shadow out at all. But he does. On account that his wife Laura was killed in an auto accident.

With nothing left for him in the outside world, he gives in and begins a job with Wednesday. Gaiman then takes us to the world of Gods: you know, Odin, Easter and Sheba-type Gods. A battle is about to take place between the new gods and the old ones, with Wednesday leading the old ones and Shadow being his right-hand man.

In all of this, the wife - Laura - pays occasional visits to Shadow. Remember, she's dead.

The road to the battle of the Gods is weird and sometimes confusing. There are *a lot* of Gods and people in this book and it gets hard to keep up but amazingly, it works.

It is an amazingly intricate story, with so many characters and Gaiman just writes so richly. I loved reading it and his writing definitely reminds me of Stephen King. Apparently, this novel is about to become a movie. That will be an interesting flick to watch.

A couple of quotes from the book that I loved, besides the best one from my recent blog post.
There are tales intermittently peppered throughout the book, about how the Gods came to be, in America...and in this part of the tale, there is a discussion of death:
The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived, and then, by some means or another, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience.

And when Laura pays another visit, after some time away. And of all places for a dead person to visit, it would be at a graveyard that Shadow walked upon, during his time at an idyllic little town called Lakeside:
"So," he asked. "How's death."
"Hard," she said. "It just keeps going."

As I wrote earlier, there are so many profound quotes and I just didn't have the mindset to write them down. If you like a bit of fantasy you should give this one a shot. I DON'T much care for fantasy and *I* enjoyed this. I'm just sayin'.

1 comment:

  1. I just finished Anansi Boys (also by Neil Gaiman). It was awesome, and hilarious, and also about gods (well, mostly just one god). And the concept of story. Magical realism/fantasy. I recommend it.

    ‎"Maybe Anansi's just some guy from a story...Does that change anything? People respond to the stories. The stories spread, and as people tell them, the stories change the tellers...People still have the same story, the one where they get born and they do stuff and they die, but now the story means something different to what it meant before."