Sunday, 2 July 2017

{English} American Gods - Neil Gaiman

Wordy novel with all kinds of mythology.

For fans of: all kinds of mythology (especially norse mythology)
Publication: 2001
ISBN: 0747263744
Pages: 640

Blurb: 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...

Cover: There are many different editions of this novel and this is the one I got. It's quite simple, the font too. I already guessed what the tree would mean before I started reading (; I guessed correctly.

Content: It took me a while to read this book, because I just couldn't get into it. The plot was very slow and I couldn't really identify with the characters.
Shadow was just being released from prison and he always seemed mysterious to me. I could never quite decide whether I should like him or not. Everything in this story only happend to him, he hardly ever took action himself. There weren't any goals in his life, probably because his wife died and he really loved her. I was never completely sure if he grasped what all those people he met were. He didn't know much about any kind of mythology, that's certain. But he took everything in, without much surprise.
I knew immediately who Mr Wednesday was. As a student of Scandinavian Studies that wasn't really a surprise. He is just like you would imagine him to be. A trickster who's always seducing young (hardly legally) women.

Writing Style: Speaking of women. There were hardly any female characters and if they did show up, they all wanted sex with Shadow. Or Wednesday. Or both. Over all, there was a lot of sudden sex happening, which often came out of the blue.
The road trip theme could have been something I liked, but it was very monotone, unfortunately. It was always driving from point A to point B and eating somewhere in between. There were many descriptions that are hard to imagine if you've never been to the USA before.
The mix of different mythologies was quite interesting, but just too much sometimes, in my opinion. It always seemed to be the same when Wednesday and Shadow visited the old gods: they were - well - old and forgotten.
Despite all my criticism, Neil Gaiman really knows how to tell a story. Actually, most of his other novels sound very interesting, so I might give him another chance.

My conclusion: I really hope the Netflix series is better.

My rating: 3/5 Buttons

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