Monday, June 18, 2007

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

  • Mass Market Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch (April 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380789035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380789030
  • List Price: $7.99
  • I finished this book on June 18
Okay my lovelies, I just returned this evening from Florida trip number one. This week will be busy (finishing the challenge plus celebrating my birthday and my new niece) and then I will be leaving for more Florida nonsense on the 24th. My personal shenanigans aside, I still found time to finish this book (feels like I have been reading it forever, though). American Gods fills my mythology spot in the challenge, which is quickly drawing to a close.
So, imagine that Gods from just about every different belief system in the world are hanging out in America. Now imagine if they were going to war. Yeah - ouch. Now imagine if you find yourself in the middle like Shadow, our downtrodden hero. Shadow is just about to get out of jail when he finds out that he's getting out early because (insert The Price Is Right loosing noise here) his wife died. Worse yet: she died while she was giving someone else road head (seriously? who does that?! Have people not read Thinner? Jesus Christmas!) Anywho: an understandably despondent Shadow takes a job with a mysterious and shady character named Mr. Wednesday. Is he a god? Yes sir. Does he draw Shadow into a web of intrigue that opens Shadow's eyes to various things? Indeed. Also, Shadow's dead slut wife stays dead but hangs around occasionally lending a (rotting) hand and spitting out maggots. Awesome.
For me, this story was somehow simple and super involved at the same time. There was a lot of characters coming back being more important than you thought originally which I appreciate. I always like when things you learned about before become nice and significant later on. This book also made me wish that I knew more about various mythologies, so you can look forward to me reading some more myths in the future. Check out the info about the book and all the different gods involved. I also liked a lot of the characters - there were endearing crotchety old gods and cool ladies (did I mention that a guy got swallowed by a certain god's lady-parts? yikes stripes!). I also really liked Shadow. He was a very realistic guy in a totally crazy situation and I have a big crush on him -but not as big as the crush I have on Mr. Gaiman. Coincidentally - I recommend reading his blog, because it's super enjoyable.


Carl V. said...

Glad you enjoyed it. It is an amazingly detailed novel that is, at its heart, simple, as you stated. It is a story that rewards re-reading as I always catch things that I didn't the last time. I highly recommend the unabridged audio as the reader, George Guidal, is excellent. This book has made me want to know more about mythology and I want to read Herodotus as well.

Happy early birthday and enjoy your next trip!!!

Kim said...

I immediately thought of Thinner too when the dirty deed was "exposed!"

Nice review, I love the irreverent tone :)

jean pierre said...

i know exactly what you mean about wishing you'd known more about mythology! i did too. i got such a kick out of knowing who mr. wednesday was from gaiman's very first mention of him. it was so exciting! i wish i had known - or known of - more of the other gods.

i kicked myself when low-key turned out to be who he was...! i should've picked that up!

i also liked how things were at once simple and very-complicated. i loved that about it because it lent everything a kind of reality. as in, reality is simple like that - there isn't all that weird god stuff going on! and yet, because it had that element of reality it made the fantastical more believable and so drew me in even more!

yeah, and that spider-woman who swallows the guy was very cool!