Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Big Book Read #13

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

This book is full of awesome. I could probably just end the review here and be completely satisfied but those silly Big Book Read rules require me to give you at least three paragraphs. So, here goes...

Shadow has recently been released from prison and become a widower. He meets the mysterious Wednesday while on his journey home and agrees to work for the man; despite not knowing who he really is or what he really does for a living.

What follows is one man's very strange trip through the myths and legends that have been absorbed into the American landscape and psyche. Gaiman depicts a sort of "alternate" American midwest and it is fantastic yet real and familiar yet terrifyingly strange all at the same time.

In this novel the ancient gods brought to North America by immigrants and travelers are at war with new indigenous gods. These new gods are everywhere. They are the gods of credit cards, television and cell phones and poor Shadow can't seem to take two steps without running into one of them.

There is a lot going on in this book, but the main story revolves around Shadow's road trip through America. The heart of the story is decidedly human and many moments see the bickering gods pushed to the side and we get to see this strange and beautiful America through Neil Gaiman's eyes.

Read it.

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