I took this book with me on my Hawaiian getaway! I didn’t get it finished while over there, but I did finish it!
‘American Gods‘ by Neil Gaiman was published in mid 2001. It’s a modern, end-of-the-world, gods-are-real-and-they’re-in-America, epic saga. It can be quite graphic at times. [you can buy a copy here!]
The novel follows Shadow, a recently freed convict, as his life takes a turn for the interesting. He meets a man who introduces himself as Mr. Wednesday; Wednesday warns Shadow that a storm is coming, and that he needs his help to stop it.
I just knew this book was going to be weird. It’s Neil Gaiman, of course it’s going to be weird. That’s a given. It truly was a crazy ride. You start off not really 100% understanding what’s going on, but I felt like that really added to the mystery and my ability to relate to the main character, Shadow.
Shadow himself is a strange guy too. He seems really laid back, and he’s basically just trying to go along with things so that he doesn’t die or get into worse trouble. He accepts the things that he can’t change, instead tries to understand them. Plenty of people call him stupid and then later realise their mistake. This is because he’s quiet, and he tends to make decisions that others in his situation wouldn’t; although in the end he’s almost always better for it. All of these decisions culminate in him surviving though. And in me really liking him.
The entire concept, of gods in America, was pretty simple. Definitely done before, but in a very very different fashion (think Riordan). I don’t know how Gaiman does it, but he weaves this complex, yet realistic, story about these wacky characters and circumstances that make you go, “Wait, what? That could totally be happening right beneath our noses!”.
The tone of the book is quite dark, but it never feels completely devoid of hope. And I think that’s something I really liked about it. The world is ending, the gods are going to war with each other, but we might just make it out of this.
The execution of ideas, and the foreshadowing, and the character development, was wonderful. We see snippets of the past, of how certain gods and folk figures came to be in America. I thought these really added an extra layer of depth to the story, and helped to remind us of how much these gods and folk figures once meant to people.
And seriously, the gods and folk figures. Ugh! They’re just so amazingly characterised. I won’t say too much, because that would spoil it. But they were just so tangible.
I really can’t wait for the TV show, which shall be based on the novel. It’s coming out in 2017, and I can easily see how it could be adapted. It’s just one of those stories.
Shadow. There’s just something about him that I like. And I can easily imagine Ricky Whittle playing him.
Ohh this is hard. I’ll go with a bit near the end that made me laugh out loud, really loud. When a certain someone takes a bite out of a McDonald’s Apple Pie, and it’s really hot.
“It doesn’t matter that you didn’t believe in us,” said Mr Ibis. “We believed in you.”
Another review is in the works, so please let me know what you thought of my review of “American Gods”. If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought in the comments below!