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American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Review by SS

I really don't think I would ever have picked up this book if not for the recommendations I've heard from people here. And I'm really glad I did.

The World
America, all the weird, seedy places of America, it seems. And backstage America. And various dreamscapes. I think Neil Gaiman does a wonderful job of setting the scenes.

The Characters
Shadow, a gentle-giant guy who's just out of jail. Laura, his deceased wife. Wednesday, a weird guy who offers Shadow a job. Assorted other gods and figures from myth.

The Plot
The old gods who came to America in the hearts and minds of its immigrants are fading because no-one believes in them anymore. The new gods, drugs, media, tv, etc want them to go. The old gods want a return of the good old days. There's going to be war. Shadow just happens to be in the middle of it all.

Comments
The summary above really does not do this book justice. American Gods is an awesome book. Gaiman's writing is very descriptive and sensuous. His ideas are original, and thought out, and logical, and polished. The characters, especially Shadow, are fully written, not cardboard cut-outs at all. The over-all tone of the book is rather dark, especially compared to Stardust (the only other Gaiman I've read; I prefer American Gods), but not excessively so. It works very well in the story. Gaiman also writes big changes well, so there is never a huge leap of faith necessary, and transitions, occur very smoothly.

4 amulets: I'm not sure I could turn around and read this book again from the start immediately, which is what a 5-amulet book does for me. But this is truly an awesome book, definitely worth a read!!


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