American Gods – Neil Gaiman

“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 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’s been a while since I’ve posted, nearly a month. That is for another post probably. If you’ve clicked on this then I presume you’re here because of the title. Perhaps you’ve read it and you either love it or hate it. Perhaps you’ve no clue what it’s about and are looking for some insight before delving into a sizeable and intimidating book.

That’s what I tend to do.

This time I didn’t. A colleague at work came in one day and said that I should read it, she said it’s one of those books that’s so good and you just want to talk about it with someone because it’s just so “Oh my God!”

I believe those were the words she used. Understandably I was intrigued from the start. I know that this particular colleague and myself share very similar tastes in books and TV Shows so I trust her judgement, and I’m glad I did.

Admittedly it took me a while to get into this book, not for lack of trying on my part and not for lack of anything on the authors part. In fairness he did give warning that when he set out with this book he wanted to write something that was “..big, odd and meandering”. Mission accomplished Mr. Gaiman.

I’d read half before heading on holiday and managed to finish it mostly on the plane. It was great to finish for two reasons, 1) it seems to have gotten me out of a reading slump, or at least that and the help of being away and 2) the obvious, I really enjoyed it!

Once I was fully immersed I didn’t want to put it down, I’m glad I was on a plane for 4 and a half hours – after all, what else did I have to do but read?

Honestly though it’s such a strange book. It has you’re basic chapters but then almost a mini chapter at the end. It took me longer than I’m proud of to figure out what they related to as these chapters had no characters in common with the main and didn’t seem to fit into the story, until I realised they were about other Gods.

I don’t want to spoil this too much for those who haven’t read it (I’m getting better that that, I think!) but if you want to talk about it feel free to leave a comment or message me as this is a book that will leave you wanting to discuss and debate for a long while afterwards!

I like the way the author tied up all the loose ends and how each character serves a specific purpose and isn’t there to bulk it out. Sometimes those mini chapters at the end I felt were slightly unnecessary to the story itself however, perhaps upon a second read-through sometime in the future I’ll see (in hindsight) that they too serve a purpose, but that’s another time.

I will say I felt this book was more plot driven than character driven, which is a big change for me. I love books where I can immerse myself into a characters life, chances are if you can make me love a character you’ll have me hooked until the end.

I think it was Jessethereader, on Youtube, who said something along the lines of “if you can make me care for a character you could write a book on their grocery shopping and I’d still read it” and I can honestly say I’m probably the same way!

Having said that this book had a good plot and good subplots, some of which intrigued me more than the main story itself, I wanted to know how each of those would wrap up and was greatly surprised and impressed upon the revelations as, personally, I hadn’t seen them coming.

While I can’t say I cared for the majority of the characters all that much (I liked Shadow well enough, and perhaps a couple of others) I thought they delved just deep enough that I wanted to find out what happened to those few I was invested in, and I suppose that’s what it’s all about – right?

Also, a brief side-note, I did find myself chuckling out loud a few times throughout, the dialogue can be quite witty, clever, sarcastic mixed in with hurt, bewilderment and and deceit. A perfect blend.

Would I recommend? Yes, absolutely! If you think this is your cup of tea then give it a go. I’d say this is something that you either love or you hate but personally I’m on the fence. That’s not to say I hated it, I very much enjoyed it! However, upon a first read through I can’t say I’m in love with it but I totally understand my colleagues reaction, because this is definitely one of those “Oh my God!” books and for so many different reasons.

 

 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. This is definitely a book that gives a lot of pieces before putting them all together in the end and meandering is a great word to describe the plot. I’m glad you enjoyed it; I plan on rereading American Gods here in the next few weeks and will have to keep an eye out for what those mini chapters add. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nicole says:

      That’s probably the perfect way to describe it, ‘gives lots of little pieces before putting them together’ – felt like clues to a jigsaw, trying to see how they all fit.

      Awesome! I’ll keep a look out for your review as I’m very curious myself, plus I’d like to get another persons perspective.

      Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

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