Jesse's Reviews > American Gods

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
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May 05, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: detective-mystery, fantasy, horror-dark-fantasy, modern-fantasy, jesse-s-all-time-favorite-authors, books-brooke-should-read
Recommended to Jesse by: Tom Kollman
Recommended for: Fans of mythology and excitiement
Read from April 10 to May 03, 2012 , read count: 1

Hello there and thanks for checking out my review. This is quite probably my all time favorite book in the world. I don't just say that lightly either, I had to pause for a few seconds and look off to the side before I typed that. So you can tell I'm serious. This is a book I have read 3 times since its arrival in 2001. Now I will say, this is entirely my first time having read the "10th Anniversary Edition" with an additional 12,000 words. So I must say here and now that I'm not sure if what different things I got out of this book this time are because of the different person I am reading it now, or if its because its somewhat reworked version of the original story. I'd like to think its a little of both.

Let me start by saying that this book has a bit of everything. A fight in a bar, a bank robbery, death by sex, pasties (the delicious pie not the things to cover nipples), gods, monsters, marital problems, love, and even self-discovery. Its pretty much a book for all seasons, so one can't really say "its like this plus this" or "its this kind of book". Thats great too, because truly amazing and artful books should be like people, one of a kind.

Ok, now to what I got out of this book this time. I still loved the bank robbery, its one of the most clever and cool things I've ever read and always makes me smile. I also loved that even after three readings (partly because I'm lazy and don't go and sleuth them out on the internet like a good nerd) there are still strange folks in this book that I can't place in any mythology I know (and since I'm a nerd you can count on me knowing plenty). Yet the thing I noticed the most in this reading of the book was Shadow and his own personal problems, especially those with his wife.

It comes through to me a real personal feeling of loss and disorientation that comes from your marriage collapsing. Its a bitter sweet recurring theme of Shadow being cast to the wind by the loss of his marriage.

Now the last and final thing I got out of this reading, is something I always get out of reading this book but bares saying each time for how amazing I find it. This is a book that, in my opinion so quintessentially captures the Unites States of America (in all of its national discontinuity), and its written by a man who is not from here. I think it takes an outsider to see the forest for the trees if you will. I myself have always been an American, yet because I grew up overseas in 3 different countries, I find this land and its people often times more difficult to understand than other people and places. Neil Gaiman went and he discovered America, and then he wrote a beautifully amazing book about it.

Ok this got longer and more rambling than I intended it too so let me close with this. This book is really amazing in every way. Its amazingly insightful, its amazingly entertaining, and its amazingly written. Read this book because its fun to read and it will really make you think, and that's not a combo you get in the same book often.
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Quotes Jesse Liked

Neil Gaiman
“This is the only country in the world," said Wednesday, into the stillness, "that worries about what it is."
"What?"
"The rest of them know what they are. No one ever needs to go searching for the heart of Norway. Or looks for the soul of Mozambique. They know what they are.”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods


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