The first exposure I had to Neil Gaiman was reading Stardust while tromping around Germany in high school. It was an interesting experience. It took me a bit of talking to people to realize that Gaiman was aiming for a trippy experience that purposefully broke the confines of traditional writing (or something like that). Then I read American Gods when I was in Germany the second time (I’m sensing a strange theme….) and I enjoyed it much much more. I also find it amusing that my dad had been trying to get me to read it for ages and it took homesickness to finally make me listen. That and it was one of the only books that I had heard of in the English fiction section of the German bookstore. It’s still a bit trippy, but it is a road trip in book form with some old gods thrown in for variety, which is about what you would expect from Gaiman.
Title: American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
Length: 588 pages (paperback)
- Interesting, out-of-the-box, but well done characters
- It takes place in real towns in the US
- The plot is trippy but very interesting and as long as you accept that it won’t be perfectly logical, you’ll probably have a good time
- Who doesn’t love random gods from random old religions popping up?
- While we’re on it, who doesn’t love learning about all of the most random tourist attractions in the states.
- I don’t really remember the end of the plot, but I think it got much more illogical toward the end, and I definitely don’t remember how things all ended up being connected, which could be meaningless, or a bad sign
- No romance, all trippy comedy (not necessarily a bad thing, just saying)
- It’s a bit long when I look at it again, though it didn’t seem long at the time, but that could just be the homesickness
Summary: It was a New York Times bestseller for a reason. It really is a good read if you are all right with feeling a bit disoriented at times when you are reading, and from the Neil Gaiman I’ve read, it’s the tamest so far (of the two I’ve read >.>). I always find references to old gods from dead religions highly entertaining and interesting, and the way they explain things about what happens to gods when their religions die out actually makes a lot of sense. It’s a pretty easy read, though not a fast one unless you have nothing to do while you sit on a bus.