American Gods

American Gods
American Gods By Neil Gaiman; Read: July 2010

This is the longest guessing game I ever played. At least I think so.

American Gods appeals to my love of mythology and folklore. But unlike the usual books that keep the setting in the ancient and forgotten, this one is quite and modern and—depending on where you are in the world—close to home.

Like most of the Gaiman pieces I’ve come across, this one has a dark tone to it. Personally, I don’t think it wouldn’t have that Gaiman-esque feel to it if the dark was taken out.

During my read of this, I felt kind of dragged. But I am not attributing that to the dark tone. I guess it’s more with the length or that it appears to be lengthy to me. My copy was a small paperback. And it was quite thick so it took a while for me to finish it. (Hope that explained the drag.)

What kept me going was, for the most part, wondering which deity would be introduced next. For a myth geek, I found that to be quite exciting. At times, even challenging. And I have to admit, sometimes it even drives me nuts when I’m stumped about which entity was referred to in the passage. And I love that Gaiman employed word play to hide an identity.

Of course, sometimes it’s a dead giveaway. But maybe that just goes for myth geeks.

But American Gods isn’t just about gods. There are humans, the necessary vessels for the gods’ existence anywhere. It depicts how a practice of foreign people brings in new belief and life into the land. And the depiction of the arrival of supposedly new gods and their battle for legitimacy and existence is quite remarkable. It even puts into perspective how one belief can flourish in a strange new place or suffer for being away from the land of origin.


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