Anthony's Reviews > American Gods

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
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Jun 18, 07

Recommended for: expat gods, divine bastards
Read in June, 2007

Neil Gaiman is, if not a great storyteller, a teller of great stories. This book was better written than Neverwhere, and there are lots of well-crafted scenes - the whole segment in Lakeside was great - but the book falls slightly short of amazing. Good enough, however, that I'll still go read Anansi Boys, in part because I bought it last year. If you really want to see Gaiman's skills used to their fullest, go read the entire Sandman series (go on, do it).
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Todd Johnson Reeeally? I mean, really-really? Sandman over American Gods? And not just because you read Sandman in high school, and American Gods between getting an MA in philosophy and law school?

I admit that I'm still a bit prejudiced against graphic novels, because I can't "get into" them in the same way, but I feel like Shadow's story is better told than Dream's.

Except for the bits with Robert Gadling and Emperor Norton. Those were pretty exceptional.

Also, I think that "if not a great storyteller, a teller of great stories" is the best description I've heard yet.

Also, "Anansi Boys" is closer to "Good Omens" in tone than it is to "American Gods." It's apparently a PG Wodehouse pastiche, but seeing as neither of us has read any PG Wodehouse, I don't know if that helps.


Anthony I admit there are more oppurtunities for lulls with Sandman, but it's a sprawling epic with numerous big and small story arcs. But the highlights just can't be beat. A Game of You twists your expectations about the final confrontation with the antagonist more creatively than either AG or Neverwhere. And at the ene of AG, Shadow was a guy who (I guess) became a real person by passage through the underworld (plus some other character-developing adventures). Morpheus makes a much more dramatic transition from the embodiment of a universal concept to someone who I was genuinely sorry for at the end.

I use to watch episodes of the Jeeves and Wooster TV series, if that helps.


Todd Johnson Really, I'm just annoyed because you broke the symmetry by being the first person I know to rate this less than 5. You did the same thing with Jonathan Strange. Now I don't think there are any books rated by 3 or more of my friends which are solid 5's.


Anthony Heh. Sorry about that. It's part of my policy to be REALLY SPARING with my 5-star ratings (JS&Mr.N being a somewhat late revision under that policy). In the universal 5-star category I still have Le Petit Prince and Autobiography of Red - why don't you read/rate those?


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