American Gods by Neil Gaiman

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Hey! So, I’ve just finished the first book of the read-a-thon. I’m late, I know.That’s because I had to delay things a bit… And because I chose a book with about six hundred pages of content. A few things made me and my friend delay the read-a-thon, and we could only properly start it yesterday, about 4pm. I then had to visit my grandmother, today I went to see the university campus, but yeah, I’m done.

American Gods is a book written by Neil Gaiman. The copy that I own was published by Harper Torch, you can buy it online here or here.

Before I give you my thoughts on it, here’s the summary available at Goodreads:

Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, AMERICAN GODS takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what and who it finds there…

It will be a bit hard to talk about it without spoiling, but I’ll try.

I had only read The Graveyard Book and the comic version of Coraline by him before this book, so it took me a few pages to get used to a more mature vocabulary. At first, I was enjoying myself but not completely hooked by it. But as the book went on, it grew more and more interesting, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it every time I had to do something that involved putting the book down. Even now, I feel like I’m not quite out of the universe created by Gaiman. To me, American Gods was like being on a magical roadtrip across the US on a very old car and listening to some good old blues. And I have to tell you, Blues is my favourite music genre.

What I loved about the book:

The metamorphosis that goes on with the main character, Shadow, throughout the story. It’s almost tangible. I also loved the cultural diversity on each and every page – Neil Gaiman tells stories taking place in America, and there could be no better country to set so many different beliefs from various parts of the world. Every single character, no matter how secondary, has its identity, its past, and its origin very outlined. I think the story is rather realistic for such a fantastical world, and every single thing the author described was vivid in my mind. There are some dark scenes that might upset some who read it, but I found them essential to the story.

What I didn’t like about the book:

Shadow’s personality made me restless most of the time. I thought he was too calm – and even a bit characterless, sometimes. Even though it was explained later on, when I was reading it bothered me a bit. At least until I could fully get him. Besides that, there are quite a few things I predicted – although I don’t really think that’s the perfect word – before they happened, and I think I could have been more excited if they surprised me when they happened. But there were lots of surprises nonetheless. I also didn’t like that it ended so fast.

Despite being a long book.

I guess it really was like a magical roadtrip, after all. And I guess I made it a spoiler-free review. I enjoyed this book a lot. By Odin, it will be hard to rate this book!

Okay, I hate repeating myself, but it will be four and a half again. You should read it, if you haven’t yet. Seriously. I’m gonna start Digital Fortress, by Dan Brown. And here’s a quote for you:

“All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them.”

four and half

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