Book Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

June 12, 2017 Book Reviews 0

Book Review: American Gods by Neil GaimanAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman
Published by William Morrow on June 21st 2011
Pages: 674
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First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic—an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this tenth anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.
A storm is coming...
Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.
But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.
Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

 

I’m a bit behind with reading this. I have started and stopped reading it so many times that I cannot count. I always get hung up in the early middle. This time, with the television show about to premiere, I thought I would push through and finally figure out what Shadow and Wednesday are up to.

It is a long book so I was ready to dig deep this time. I listened to a full cast on audio and loved every minute.

What is interesting is the story itself that new gods are ready to take over for the old gods. I enjoyed the twist that Neil Gaiman put on those older gods needing to be brought over to America to survive. But, even those who were brought over are not worshipped like they were in the past. Many have been forgotten. Technology is taking over and our lives are changing. We no longer pray for rain, or lack of rain, we only pray to our sports figures and our favorite television programs.

The characterization is also very well done and really, it should be considering most of us know about these gods. But each one stands out. There is an enormous amount of characters in this and yet they all feel tangible.

Shadow is one character that throws me. It is difficult to discern exactly what his motivations are. At first it was just to do time in jail and then to get to his wife once that was over. It is almost as if he doesn’t even know where he is going so he just goes with the flow. Makes me curious what he would have done if the other side would have recruited him first.

The ending is worth the time it takes to read this. I was floored. I still am a bit, so it is good that I get to look forward to the television show. I’m hoping that the very few things that are not taken care of in the book can be addressed in the show.

In short: I’m only sad that it took me so long to get to this. It was amazingly well done.

 

Rating Report
Plot
5 / 5
Character Development
5 / 5
Writing Style
5 / 5
Personal enjoyment
4 / 5
Cover
5 / 5
Overall: 4.8 / 5

 

 

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