King Rat (gkr) wrote,
King Rat

Neil Gaiman, American Gods

American Gods coverJust finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I've also read Stardust and I have Neverwhere, but I've never been able to get into it.

American Gods is the story of Shadow, who is released from prison at the start of the book only to find out his wife has been killed in flagrante delicto with his best friend in a car accident. Soon, he is hired by Mr. Wednesday to be his all around gofer and driver. It seems Mr. Wednesday is starting a war between the gods of the old world, stuck in America, and the new gods of television, technology, fame, and fortune. The old gods feel threatened and are quickly fading, as no one reveres them anymore. Wednesday wants them to go out in a blaze of glory, rather than fade away. Shadow is his weapon.

Most of the story is Shadow following Wednesday around, meeting all sorts of gods. Frankly, I wish Gaiman hadn't written this as a litany of gods. Much of the writing doesn't really advance the story much. It's more a catalog of gods. By the time I got the the climactic battle, I was thoroughly disappointed. Because it is so thoroughly anti-climactic. Shadow knows what going on, but unless I am a genius, which I am not, I was clueless. Plus then Shadow gets into his own episode of symbolic mysticism, which left me wondering what it was symbolic of.

However, the epilogue, which is a formidable amount of pages after the climactic battle, made me like the story again. Especially the confrontations with Hinzelman and Czernebog.

Tags: books

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