Thursday, December 06, 2012

review: american gods

I picked up this book half expecting a struggle. You see, Neil Gaiman and I don't have a shining history. I'm a little bit in love with the movie Stardust and quite enjoyed the book. Other than that, I've tried to read Neverwhere a few times and have invariably put it down within the first couple chapters because I just could not get into it.

Everyone seems to love this author though, and I felt like he deserved more of a shot in my reading repetoire than just a one book wonder. And given that science fiction and fantasy is probably my favourite genre I had to give another shot to an author who is so well respected with other fantasy fans. So I researched a little, and from what I could tell American Gods is, if not his best, certainly Gaiman's most popular work. Clearly this was where to start.

It was a good place, too. This novel is just beautiful. It combines the "real" world with mythology, magic and even a little philosophical pondering. The plot is decently paced and builds wonderfully towards peaks and valleys, stories weave in and out from each other. I'm pretty sure there isn't a single loose end in the whole books, but at the same time the story isn't wrapped up in a way that feels too smooth or fake. It's just well written and well edited, there are no throw aways.

Based solely on this book? Gaiman gets another shot. I'll be looking into some of his other titles and probably reading. I may (just maybe) even try and find that copy of Neverwhere and give it just one more go.

Next on the list? More fluff, in the form of the sequel to this. Then it's a debate: do I get into some somewhat serious reading again? Or is it just fluff month?


  1. I am crazy about Stardust. Loved the story, the book, the film, everything. I also want to read the Magicians, and now I am curious about more books of Gaiman too.

    1. My last year of university I'm pretty sure I watched Stardust a minimum of once a week. (I blame this on not having cable, but I probably would have done it anyway.)

      The Magicians is definitely worth a read. I had my moments of feeling "meh" about it, but it really hints at some great deep themes, and I think it's been on my mind more since I finished reading it.

  2. Try Good Omens - a book he co-wrote with my beloved Terry Pratchett. It's about Armageddon, and a 10 year old boy. And angles and devils and witches and delightful zaniness and biting satire. I love it.

    Before reading Neverwhere, try watching the BBC mini series. (In a house with all the lights on though - it's chilling.) They did an EXCELLENT job bringing it to the small screen.

    1. I feel like a bad science fiction/fantasy fan when it comes to Terry Pratchett. He's one of the big names whose writing I just never really got into. I'll definitely keep my eye out for Good Omens though! Maybe it'll be a good introduction.

      Now, off to search for torrents of the mini series!