Although I quite enjoyed the first half, (in my humble opinion) the story would have benefited from either, a) being cut down to a short story or b) b...moreAlthough I quite enjoyed the first half, (in my humble opinion) the story would have benefited from either, a) being cut down to a short story or b) being further developed so as to better address the role of the female characters. As it stands, although there are a lot of interesting aspects, I was disappointed that the women were so underdeveloped and were treated (described and developed) like supporting characters despite having such essential roles. Particularly in the case of Jill, who is so one-dimensional, even more so that Render's annoying son. Zelazny suggests that Jill's interaction with Eileen somehow provokes the concluding events, but this relationship or Jill's influence is left unexplained. Also, so much of this novel is over-written; Zelazny needed a good editor to keep his pretentious name-dropping in check. I couldn't stop rolling my eyes. (less)
Slow to start and too quick to finish - the conclusion could have used some more development and clarity. The characters, as usual for Gibson, are rea...moreSlow to start and too quick to finish - the conclusion could have used some more development and clarity. The characters, as usual for Gibson, are really well drawn and make this worthy of four stars. What is most interesting here is the setting - the focus on the "interstitial" bridge area and its symbolic connection to post-industrial society and the effects of advanced capitalism and neo-liberalism on specific groups of the population. (less)
American Gods is the first Gaiman novel I have read, and I wasn't disappointed. It is sprawling and epic, mystical yet caustic and playful.
Although m...moreAmerican Gods is the first Gaiman novel I have read, and I wasn't disappointed. It is sprawling and epic, mystical yet caustic and playful.
Although massively entertaining, there are some aspects that came across as a little trite, a little too obvious. Technological determinism is a little outdated, especially for a novel published in 2005. I tend to cringe at characterizations of technology as fundamentally "evil," uniform, inhuman, impersonal and yet also, in some way, divine. We know enough about technology to know, now, that it takes on a multitude of different forms, it is human and material as much as it is divine and abstract. Technology liberates as much as it takes away. The multiplicitous quality of technology, however, is glossed over throughout American Gods. Technology, contemporary society, etc. are consistently portrayed as one-dimensional "bad guys." These characterizations stick, even as Gaiman attempts to dislodge this dichotomy, this "us versus them" attitude.
In the end, American Gods is entertaining, well-written, and explores some interesting themes despite being a little too heavy-handed at times. (less)
I certainly wouldn't call this science fiction, but it was a largely interesting read. The plot itself was dull, or at least secondary, and the enjoym...moreI certainly wouldn't call this science fiction, but it was a largely interesting read. The plot itself was dull, or at least secondary, and the enjoyment I drew from this book is a little unconventional. All I have to say is that I loved the characters. It is depressing that well-written female characters are still a delight and surprise: Gibson did good here. I especially loved Hollis and Fiona (I haven't read any of the other Blue Ant books so I am unfamiliar with the Hollis that many here seem to strongly dislike). The descriptions - of the hotel Cabinet, of the Blue Ant building, of the cities, cafes and people - are captivating. This novel emanates a very well-articulated mood. For this reason, I forgave the strange and anti climatic conclusion that occurs in the last 50 pages and the sometimes-lagging plot. Overall: Supremely readable up until the last and final section. (less)