American Gods – Neil Gaiman

American Gods

“People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine and people believe: and it is that belief, that rock-solid belief, that makes things happen.”

Date Completed: June 18 2017
Page Length: 635

If you’ve been following my Letters From the Road you’ll know I’ve been reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods  since we left Bundaberg.

I began reading this book after watching the first two episodes of the knew TV show. I’d been hooked but as we were about to leave the comfortable life of TV and unlimited data for the open road I knew I wouldn’t be watching the rest any time soon. So I downloaded the book and dived right in.

At first I enjoyed the symmetry of reading a road narrative while road tripping through Queensland. Then I enjoyed the escape from a less than ideal work/living situation. Then I just road the momentum right to the end.

What did I think of it? I enjoyed it. I never lost interest in it, but I didn’t love it. I was disappointed. My expectations were high but I think they were also a little askew. I love mythology and ancient gods so perhaps I was hoping for more Easter eggs that matched my own particular knowledge. I know I wanted some Greek gods but I also understand why they didn’t feature. All in all I think my disappointment is more to do with my misaligned expectations than any fault in the narrative or writing.

I do think Shadow is a passive character, whose main purpose is to give the reader an entry point into this world of gods. I also think this is somewhat deliberate. His name is Shadow and he is a shadow. *SPOILER* He doesn’t feel alive to his wife and he is being used as a pawn throughout *SPOILER*. Despite this lack of agency he carries the hefty plot incredibly well.

I enjoyed it and I still love Neil Gaiman. Now I’ve got to find something else to read.


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