Sandra's Reviews > American Gods

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
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May 28, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-own, fantasy, in-english, norse-mythology, read-in-vienna, read-in-2012
Read from June 30 to July 03, 2012

I've heard people say they found this strange or hard to follow, in the beginning. I had no such problems with this book. It's an interesting book. It tries to cover a lot of ground, by discussing a great many different religions, immigration and American society. It definitely gives you a lot to think about.

Now, 635 pages later, I must say that the plot itself was lacking in the action I expected. They were building up to a war, after all, and it turned out to be anti-climatic. (view spoiler) But all in all, the plot ends quite quietly, ties up the loose ends.. and kind of lacks the epic pay-off I may have been hoping for. It's not a bad thing it wasn't there, I should probably have expected it: Gaiman never writes by the rules. But it's one other thing to ponder about, and one of the few things to actually take me by surprise in this novel.

I liked that there were so many religions in this book, but there was so little backstory. For quite a few of the Gods and Goddesses you had to be familiar with them beforehand, if you wanted to know where they were from or what they were Gods or Goddesses of. Hell, not even Odin gets a real proper introduction of character, though with him at least you can read a lot between the lines. Still, a short introduction to Norse mythology would not have gone astray. (view spoiler)

The writing style was pleasant and you can read this quite steadily, though not too quickly, as there is still tons of information in this and loads of tiny-yet-important plot points. The book does demand your attention, and demands you to think. But I think most of the thinking comes along after you finish the book and you have all the facts.

This book shall haunt me for weeks until I can give it a proper place in my mind, and that will probably take a while. I'm not 100% sure how to interpret this, and until that time, I fear it will not let me go. Surely that's the mark of a great book, even if it wasn't quite what I was expecting?
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Quotes Sandra Liked

Neil Gaiman
“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Neil Gaiman
“Every hour wounds. The last one kills.”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Reading Progress

06/30/2012 page 143
07/03/2012 page 413
65.0% "I randomly fell asleep before 9pm yesteday evening and just saw I hadn't updated this, so yep."
show 2 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael Hall This book you will either love or hate. It's wild and rambling and full of distracting details, yet is much deeper than the surface impression you initially get from it -- I wont spoil it for you :) It's also set to become a noisybox series on HBO which we'll probably get to see no earlier than next year.

Sandra It's Neil Gaiman, so there's a good chance I might like it all the same. Plus I'm very interested in the mythology (view spoiler). But I'm very excited to read it, although it will have to wait a couple of months.

But ohh. An HBO series for Neil Gaiman. Good. Very good. Also the fact that the BBC is apparently doing Good Omens.. very good indeed. :)

message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael Hall Oh really! I didn't know about the noisy box version of Good Omens -- that'll be awesome! I've been thinking of reading that one again. I read American Gods for the third time just a couple of weeks before joining Goodreads, otherwise it would be in my 5 stars shelf.

message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael Hall Oh yeah, I did read somewhere that a sequel to American Gods is planned... and did you know that his book Anansi Boys is set in the same world? I'll start reading it sometime today.

Sandra Yeah, I'm quite looking forward to both series now. I believe they adapted Neverwhere at some point too, I should probably see that as well. Come to think of it, I haven't seen Coraline either..

I did know about Anansi Boys! I follow Neil on Tumblr, and he answered a question about that a few months ago. :)

Jeshu I loved this book :P

Sandra So far, I'm loving it too, but I haven't read too much of it yet :D We'll see. It's Neil Gaiman though, so I'll probably like it very much at the very least!

Jeshu He has that effect :)

message 9: by Sandra (last edited Jul 01, 2012 03:56PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sandra The first thing I read by Mr. Gaiman was Coraline, and I didn't like that so much, so I wasn't sure if I would love his work.. but everything I've read since then was quite amazing, and American Gods is definitely no exception.

message 10: by Mizumi (new) - added it

Mizumi Oooh congrats on finishing!!
I'm so glad you liked it even though the ending wasn't quite what you expected, because that can end both ways. (Seriously thinking about tackling this myself now pretty soon, though I first need to get my hands on a copy XD; (boo library you're expensive and don't have good books at all so shoo))

Sandra Thank you *bows*

You can borrow my copy, if you want? Provided we meet up again at some point in the summer because I would like it back, eventually. :P And then you can borrow The Girl Who Leapt Through Time as well, if you still want to read it [see I've remembered!!].

message 12: by Mizumi (new) - added it

Mizumi Whoo!

Ahahah I can't really promise when we can meet up again in summer though ^^; I really do want to but I'm also pretty busy atm, so yeah... Chances are that'll change but I don't know when yet.
And yes I still want to read it, yay for you remembering!! I almost forgot it myself XD; WHICH REMINDS ME I have to return The Importance of Being Earnest now that I have the collected works (aahahahah OOPS).

Sandra Hmm. We'll figure it out. You can still borrow the book though, provided I get it back eventually. :P And I know you'll give it back, so I don't mind not having an absolute date, you know? I'll get it back, so I won't worry about it, just take it with you in 2 weeks if you want to.

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