Sunday, 21 June 2009

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

My first review on this blog will be about one of the best books I've ever read: American Gods.

What is it about:

Shadow is only a few days away from being released from prison when he gets the message that his wife has been killed in a car accident. As he gets out of prison one of the first persons that he meets is the mysterious Mr. Wednesday who offers him a job. When Shadow reluctantly takes this job he meets some strange individuals and is pulled into a series of even stranger events of which no one seems to know the outcome except that it might get very ugly indeed.

So why do I think it's good:

Gaiman mixes a suspenseful story with mythology and fantasy. I learned a lot of history from this book without having the feeling that someone was trying to teach me something.
The way he writes his characters made me want to keep reading to learn more about them, they feel lifelike even those that aren't quite human. The story itself is intruiging and beautiful. It has a good pace and everything fits. And it even has a sort of zombie in it!

Why should you read it:

If you like a well written story that challenges you to think about certain things and makes you curious about other things, this is the book you should read.
And if after you read this book you think: Hmmm... that Anansi guy was a cool character, don't hesistate to pick up a copy of 'Anansi Boys'.


Urok Burok said...

Hi there! That is a interesting and good
review. I cannot wait to read American Gods.
Question: are there European Gods too????

Sullivan McPig said...

Yes! A lot of American Gods used to be European Gods actually.

permanentcloud said...

this sounds like a great read...and a good review as well! :)

Eve Noir said...

OK, don't kill me here cuz you know I'm a big Gaiman fan. Well, I have this book...or had it (pretty bad that I don't even know what happened to it). I bought it a while ago...and I TRIED really really hard to read it, but (at that time) I just couldn't seem to get past the first 50 or so pages. This was back when it first came out.

I had read NEVERWHERE prior to that (and loved it) so I had no idea to why I just couldn't get past this...BUMP in the road.

I have read all of the Sandman comics and Coraline...& hm, IDK what else besides his children books, but for some reason (again) I was stuck w/this one.

And you know how time passes & if you don't read it, you start to forget details in the book. So too much time passed & I never gave it another try.

I'm thinking (maybe, but you tell me your opinion) that it was SO different than Neverwhere that I was caught off guard with all the history. Hm, that's my only guess after reading your review.

If I find it, maybe I should let Mike read it...cuz he's always reading. (And ssshhh, it's been FOREVER since I read a book cover to cover...and I work in a library!)

K, longest COMMENT ever. and again, so glad you're doing this blog (so I can say "hm, i didn't understand this book!)
^_^ Take care~

Sullivan McPig said...

I won't kill you ;-)
Hmmm... I've heard other people say they couldn't finish it and really liked Neverwhere and Stardust.
Now I have confession to make: I didn't finish Stardust and didn't like Neverwhere. I think the people in Stardust and Neverwhere are so nasty to each other when they don't have to be.
I mean: the lead character in Neverwhere is dragged into something because he is helps Door when he could have walked on and everyone treats him like shit.

That's what I like about American Gods: Lots of people are being nasty to Shadow, but the people that count are there for him!
And I'm a nerd: I love mythology

Eve Noir said...

UH OH, I can see a DEBATE happening. Hm, IDK...maybe we like different sides of Gaiman. Neverwhere was the first book (after Sandman series) I read and I enjoyed it. Didn't read Stardust but enjoyed the film & always wanted to give it a read.

I have to say I was kinda disappointed in the BBC's version of Neverwhere. I had so many cool ideas of the underground in my head...and hm, just didn't live up. Maybe if it were a BIG film like Stardust, but IDK.

I know what you mean about him getting dragged in...but he wanted to change his life too. (Didn't like his job...girlfriend, if I remember correctly.)

I just think the people treat him different because he's not 'one of them' yet. And I like the ending-I think it's interesting to who is behind all the bad stuff. Hm, maybe you should give Neverwhere another try and I should give American Gods another! ^_^

Sullivan McPig said...

Sounds like a plan!