Neil Gaiman – American Gods


How can one both hate and love a book? Well, that’s the case for me with “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman (ISBN 0747263744; 635p.; Goodreads). I really dislike Gaiman’s writing style, but the plots, so far, are always brilliant. That is, after you get through the rocky start of the story.

After three years in prison Shadow can hardly believe he’s free to go. At last he’ll see his beloved wife Laura. He’ll start life over! No more nonsense this time…

There’s a saying: we plan and the gods laugh. Laura died in a car-crash just a day or two before Shadow left prison. Together with his best friend, with whom she was sleeping. And in this moment of unbelievable madness, when things don’t look as they seem due to this new angle off of which you’re sliding down, Shadow accepted an awfully simple job, offered by an awfully strange little man who just happened to sit beside him…

Immigrants from all over the world came to this Brave New World, America, bringing their culture and beliefs with them. Their gods. The man beside Shadow is one of them, and there’s many more he will soon meet. That taxi driver over there? A djinn from Arabian Nights, no less. That prostitute over there? Goddess of love and femininity, demanding clients to worship her during the act. That fat little boy? Technical boy, he still can’t believe there are places on Earth where internet is provided via fat cables plugged right into the computers. And Shadow now has a role among them. A divine duty, if you please.

It’s a wonderful story, and I regret greatly I didn’t get to read it when it was first translated for us, some years ago. I will give it a very firm 4 out of 5, and would give more if not for a few unforgivable hiccups. Gaiman’s style may not be the easiest to get through, but once you do – plot is very rewarding.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books: Everything | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Neil Gaiman – American Gods

  1. Can you explain more on not exactly liking Gaiman’s styles? I have read a few of Gaiman’s books, but they are mostly written for the younger readers…. I am currently reading Stardust, and though he uses a number of uncommon words, I am enjoying it so far.

    I have American Gods on my shelf and I plan to read it some time soon, but I would like to know more about your take on Gaiman’s style to sort of knowing what narrative form to expect XD

    Great review!

    • There’s a constant bombarding of the reader with side-stories. I can only compare this to a map where you see all the lines and squiggles of the river, and you concentrate onto the ocean, and eventually rivers reach whatever you’ve been looking it, but in the mean time it kept distracting you with turns and twists. It’s a very intense sensation of being hurtled through what seems a slow-paced plot. Do I make sense? I’ve read his lighter stuff, stuff for younger audiences, I’ve read Stardust too, and style here is much like that of Stardust, so if you feel that you’re okay with it – you’ll be okay with this, absolutely!

      • I am still early into the book, but I do hope that I will enjoy it! and yes, I do hope so, since I have Anansi Boys waiting to be read, too XD

        The plotline just intrigued me into buying them…

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