Cecily’s review of American Gods (American Gods, #1) > Likes and Comments

141 likes · 
Comments Showing 1-50 of 69 (69 new)    post a comment »

message 1: by Apatt (new)

Apatt Aha! Now I know who popularized this "lacking" business 😜 but at least you followed it with a list, rather than just walk away with the sentence incomplete.

You clearly picked up more of the book's nuances than I did. Pity that you didn't enjoy it half as much. At least I never actually recommended this book to you, the book i recommended is called Flowers for Algernon! 😤

Great review, better than most of the positive ones that I actually agree with! Amen! 🙏


message 2: by Lars (new)

Lars Dradrach No one can blame you for half a try, amazing nuanced review for a book you did not really like. Strangely enough I agree with most of your points, somehow they just didn't matter as much to me, compared to the overall story, which i just loved. That's the magic with books, we can read the same text and go away with totally different experiences.


message 3: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Quann Outstanding review of a complex novel. I agree with you that the book takes its sweet time getting to any sort of action, though I think I enjoy it more for its tone than anything else.


message 4: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Apatt wrote: "Aha! Now I know who popularized this "lacking" business..."

I put it there just for you, in an attempt to demonstrate commonplace, informal, unobjectionable (to me) use of the word.

Apatt wrote: "Pity that you didn't enjoy it half as much..."

I quite enjoyed it. 3* isn't bad!

Apatt wrote: "the book i recommended is called Flowers for Algernon!..."

It's on my radar and my TBR, and last week, I entered a GR giveaway for a copy, so you never know...


message 5: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Lars wrote: "No one can blame you for half a try, amazing nuanced review for a book you did not really like..."

You're evidently more generous with stars than I am. For me, 3* is fine. I quite enjoyed it, but I didn't love it, and I could see specific faults that reduced my enjoyment. I will read Gaiman again.


message 6: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Matthew wrote: "Outstanding review of a complex novel. I agree with you that the book takes its sweet time getting to any sort of action, though I think I enjoy it more for its tone than anything else."

Thanks, Matthew. I note from your own, excellent review, that you enjoyed it more second time round.

For me, I think it was the ideas that I liked best. I didn't really latch on to a specific tone. Funny how differently we all react.


message 7: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Ansbro Terrific review, Cecily.
Kudos to Gaiman for such a great concept. Wow! He must have leapt out of bed and scrambled for his notepad and pen when that idea popped into his mind.
It is on my TBR list but there are many more I'd rather read first.


message 8: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Kevin wrote: "Terrific review, Cecily.
Kudos to Gaiman for such a great concept. Wow! He must have leapt out of bed..."


Thanks, and ha. I guess he might have done, but as he has an ongoing interest in mythology, my money would be on a more prosaic and long-winded realisation of his idea. But I'm not a novelist, so what do I know?


message 9: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean Thanks Cecily. I've yet to attempt this one ... somehow I thought it might feel a little too rooted in the American psyche for me to fully appreciate.


message 10: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Jean wrote: "Thanks Cecily. I've yet to attempt this one ... somehow I thought it might feel a little too rooted in the American psyche for me to fully appreciate."

It's firmly rooted in the US, but somewhat from the view of an outsider: Gaiman himself, the immigrant gods who have assimilated with varying degrees of success, and Shadow himself, who is an outsider in the sense of being a loner. I certainly didn't find it an impediment, and it's whetted my appetite for our imminent trip (that I'm not fully thrilled about in other ways). I think a working knowledge of a whole range of religions and mythology would be more useful than a knowledge of the US.


message 11: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean Useful to know - thanks again Cecily.


message 12: by Campbell (new)

Campbell Marvelous review Cecily. I can disagree with nothing you said. It's a fantastic concept that fails to deliver.


message 13: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Campbell wrote: "Marvelous review Cecily. I can disagree with nothing you said. It's a fantastic concept that fails to deliver."

Thanks, Campbell. I don't think it's a bad book, but it had the potential to be a really good one.


message 14: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Excellent review, Cecily! I have been meaning to read this novel for some time, as I am a fan of Gaiman's children's fiction, which I loved to read aloud to kids when I worked in a library. But the very fact that I loved the books for younger readers made me a bit nervous about trying the fiction for grown-ups. You make it sound worthwhile, though!


message 15: by Dolors (new)

Dolors Well, no shortage of themes in this godly book, Cecily. I particularly enjoyed the literary connections to Steinbeck and Ebenezer that you piece together through common dualities like individuality vs the need to be accepted and loved by others.
And a road trip! Fantastic plan... Steinbeck is the perfect writer to explore the American plains, I hope you have a marvelous time.


message 16: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala I'm even more of a Gaiman virgin than you, Cecily, in that I've not read anything by him at all while at the same time being aware of all the love and attention he gets on this site and elsewhere. So your review was extra useful because you provided me with some outsider insight into the mystery of Gaiman's appeal. And with your usual thoroughness. Thanks!


message 17: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Robinson You are such a generous and comprehensive reader and reviewer, Cecily. I'll bet Gaiman would love this review.

I read the book a few years ago and don't remember that much except I felt set up for a feeling of connection that never came so I was a little disgusted at the end. As if I'd been tricked into waiting for something that never came. Maybe that's the point. I don't know, but it turned me off so much that I don't want to read any more books by Gaiman. I'm not as generous as you are. Maybe I'm more of the island he says we all are. I'm glad you're not.


message 18: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Lisa wrote: "Excellent review, Cecily!...
But the very fact that I loved the books for younger readers made me a bit nervous about trying the fiction for grown-ups...!"


Thanks, Lisa, and I understand your trepidation. Few authors write as well for adults as for children. My own child was put of Pratchett for years, because I read Truckers: The First Book of the Nomes aloud. I'm not even sure we finished it.

I've not read enough Gaiman to judge, but so far, I think Coraline far better, even though I usually shy away from children's and YA.


message 19: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Dolors wrote: "Well, no shortage of themes in this godly book, Cecily. I particularly enjoyed the literary connections to Steinbeck and Ebeneze..."

No, no shortage of themes, and it's all done very comprehensively: never a wasted mention of anything. And yet ultimately not very satisfying. I prefer Ebenezer and the Pearl, as I'm sure you would.

Dolors wrote: "And a road trip! Fantastic plan... Steinbeck is the perfect writer to explore the American plains, I hope you have a marvelous time."

Thanks. We'll be doing mountains more than plans, but it should be spectacular in places.


message 20: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Fionnuala wrote: "I'm even more of a Gaiman virgin than you... So your review was extra useful..."

I'm not sure how much help I can have been, but I'm glad. Thanks for your kind comment, Fionnuala.


message 21: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Betsy wrote: "You are such a generous and comprehensive reader and reviewer, Cecily. I'll bet Gaiman would love this review..."

Thanks. (But others, above, seem to think 3* means I disliked it!)

Betsy wrote: "I felt set up for a feeling of connection that never came so I was a little disgusted at the end... Maybe I'm more of the island he says we all are. I'm glad you're not."

I'm sorry you felt so let down. I'm content to be an islander - as long as I'm a connected, seafaring one. Thanks, Betsy.


message 22: by Adina (new)

Adina Outstanding review, as always. i agree with your flaws. It wasn't what i expected for me either. I loved The Ocean at The End of The Lane and hoped to be mesmerized again but..

P.S. Enjoy your road trip.


message 23: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Adina wrote: "Outstanding review, as always. i agree with your flaws. It wasn't what i expected for me either. I loved The Ocean at The End of The Lane and hoped to be mesmerized again but...."

Thanks, Adina. The Ocean at The End of The Lane was one I had been considering, but came to this first. I'm not sure where I'll go next with Gaiman. Maybe that, or maybe something else entirely.

Adina wrote: "P.S. Enjoy your road trip."

I certainly intend to, though I hope it won't be quite as action-packed as Shadow's.


message 24: by Greg (new)

Greg Excellent review. Cecily, I agree with everything you say. Gore Vidal, in his 1950's "Messiah" had a singular line that referenced a disappearance of American gods, in effect writing "American Gods" in its entirety with just a few words.


message 25: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Greg wrote: "Excellent review. Cecily, I agree with everything you say. Gore Vidal, in his 1950's "Messiah" had a singular line that referenced a disappearance of American gods, in effect writing "American Gods..."

Thanks for that fascinating titbit, and your kind comment. I'll check out your review later.


message 26: by Agnieszka (new)

Agnieszka An excellent review, Cecily, as usual very informative and with great selection of quotes. You did a great job here familiarizing such a layman like myself with Gaiman.


message 27: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Agnieszka wrote: "An excellent review, Cecily, as usual very informative and with great selection of quotes. You did a great job here familiarizing such a layman like myself with Gaiman."

I've no idea how typical this is of Gaiman, but I'm happy to describe this specific example of his work.


message 28: by Abubakar (new)

Abubakar Mehdi You have selected some amazing quotes from the book. Although I haven't read the book and therefore can't say how good or bad it is, but the TV show based on the book was absolutely terrible. 8 episodes of mind-boggling non sense.
Have you watched it ?


message 29: by Anuradha (new)

Anuradha I was looking forward to your review of this! I loved this a lot more than you did, but all your points of criticism are valid. Also, I feel that The Graveyard Book is his best work, though this particular one holds a special place in my heart.


message 30: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Abubakar wrote: "You have selected some amazing quotes from the book..."

I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Abubakar wrote: "the TV show based on the book was absolutely terrible. 8 episodes of mind-boggling non sense. Have you watched it ? "

No, we don't have Netflix, which I think is the only way to see it here at present.


message 31: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Anuradha wrote: "...I loved this a lot more than you did, but all your points of criticism are valid... this particular one holds a special place in my heart."

I hope I haven't popped your bubble at all. My stars are for my personal enjoyment, and 3* isn't bad. It just wasn't all that I hoped and wanted. I'll check out your review later...
Thanks, Anuradha.


message 32: by Alfred (new)

Alfred Haplo Nice review, Cecily. As always, your reviews prompt me to think a lot more about any book, particularly a book like this. Its popularity makes me curious to read it, but something about titles that begin with "American" always make me leery too. We are a shifting identity, so what exactly is American today?

It amuses me that gods abound in small town America. Can't blame 'em for fleeing corrupt big cities full of sinners and unbelievers...

I forgot my manners - welcome to the US in advance! Whichever mountains you will be road-tripping through, I hope you'll enjoy your experience. (Also, bring sunscreen and bug spray...)


message 33: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Alfred wrote: "Nice review, Cecily. As always, your reviews prompt me to thinksomething about titles that begin with "American" always make me leery too...."

Warwick's excellent review majors on that very point. Read it here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Alfred wrote: "It amuses me that gods abound in small town America..."

Yes, except, as Warwick also point out, the US (especially small towns) is very religious compared with most developed countries.

Alfred wrote: "I forgot my manners..."

Not at all, and thank you. We'll be going from Seattle to San Francisco, via Oregon for the eclipse. The main problem round the first bit at the moment is air quality from Canadian wildfires. But yes, sunscreen and bug spray are essentials. Thanks.


message 34: by Alfred (last edited Aug 04, 2017 05:37AM) (new)

Alfred Haplo Thanks also for this link to the other review - I just read it.(view spoiler)

I think religion in small town USA is partly cultural due to a strong sense of community (and in many ways, peer pressure too!). If everyone in your neighborhood and workplace goes to church, or is involved in activities related to religion... It's hard - socially - to be the odd man out. Sorry for talking out loud, as it happens, I am currently in the South for a visit but had also lived here for a bit in the past.

Will stick with Good Omens and Coraline as an entree to Gaiman, based on your recommendations for novels. (I am midway through the Sandman graphic series, which is just alright).

Ah, a west coast road trip, how exciting! Worth checking out if you like to explore used book warehouses (you may also already have this in your itinerary) - Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregon is the largest new and used bookstore in the US and a fun place to visit http://www.powells.com/locations/powe.... Hopefully, the air quality improves by the time you get here. To be able to experience a full eclipse in a prime viewing location- I am so envious! Please do share, on returning.


message 35: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Alfred wrote: "I think religion in small town USA is partly cultural due to a strong sense of community..."

I'm sure that's true. But it was also true of the UK. I'm not sure how our countries have diverged so much in that respect.

Alfred wrote: "Will stick with Good Omens and Coraline as an entree to Gaiman, based on your recommendations..."

I've read too little Gaiman for you to trust my words!

Alfred wrote: "Ah, a west coast road trip...
Powell's City of Books in Portland...
Please do share, on returning. "


Powell's has been on the list since the start, but thanks for making sure.
One or two people have said I should share photos and experiences etc, but I've yet to work out a good way to do so on GR. Suggestions welcome...


message 36: by Anuradha (new)

Anuradha Cecily wrote: "Anuradha wrote: "...I loved this a lot more than you did, but all your points of criticism are valid... this particular one holds a special place in my heart."

I hope I haven't popped your bubble ..."


Oh, not at all. I'm a rather capricious reader, for lack of a better word; I'm sometimes emotional, other times logical, and very rarely, a fair mixture of both. I have marked books such as Da Vinci Code a lot higher than I would have now, as an adult. And that's just one instance. :P I tend to almost never reduce my rating, hence, on rereading.

Oh, sure, take your time. I could see from the other comments that you're touring the States, in fact? How's that going?


message 37: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Anuradha wrote: "I'm a rather capricious reader..."

Many of the best people are.

Anuradha wrote: "I could see from the other comments that you're touring the States, in fact? How's that going?"

We haven't started yet! But I'm looking forward to (most of) it. Thanks for your good wishes.


message 38: by Mareli (new)

Mareli Thalwitzer I was contemplating reading this one or A monster calls by Patrick Ness next. Started with the latter, but will still get to this one. Excellent review!


message 39: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Mareli wrote: "I was contemplating reading this one or A monster calls by Patrick Ness next. Started with the latter, but will still get to this one. Excellent review!"

They're quite different! I hope you're enjoying (perhaps not quite the right word) Ness, and that in due course, you enjoy this. Thanks, Mareli.


message 40: by Sue (new)

Sue Excellent review Cecily. I thought I'd commented before. I also rated it higher than you did, perhaps because I think I likely rated my full experience which includes my emotional reaction too. You write such fantastic, complete reviews.


message 41: by Cecily (last edited Aug 04, 2017 03:33PM) (new)

Cecily Sue wrote: "Excellent review Cecily. I thought I'd commented before. I also rated it higher than you did, perhaps because I think I likely rated my full experience which includes my emotional reaction too...."

Thanks, Sue. I was never fully emotionally engaged with any of the characters. It was interesting, and I did enjoy it. But not as much as I'd hoped.


message 42: by Brian (new)

Brian Awesome and thorough review Cecily! You inspire me to consider my approach to reading. Perhaps I should take notes and think things through, learn and grow, and develop as a writer. Thanks again! :-)


message 43: by David (new)

David Schaafsma Wow, terrific review! Thanks for all the hard work and insights. So many interesting things here, but I liked The Pearl connection.


message 44: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Brian wrote: "Awesome and thorough review Cecily! You inspire me to consider my approach to reading. Perhaps I should take notes..."

Thanks, Brian, but taking notes is my downfall. It makes it impossible for me to self-edit and write brief, punchy reviews. I don't want to omit anything in case I want to look it up later. Recently, I've tried starting my reviews without looking at my notes, but by the time I do, I'be padded it to the extent it's indistinguishable from ones where I did the two in tandem.


message 45: by Cecily (new)

Cecily David wrote: "Wow, terrific review! Thanks for all the hard work and insights. So many interesting things here, but I liked The Pearl connection."

Thanks, David. If I hadn't read them back-to-back, I might have missed it.


message 46: by David (new)

David Schaafsma Cecily wrote: "David wrote: "Wow, terrific review! Thanks for all the hard work and insights. So many interesting things here, but I liked The Pearl connection."

Thanks, David. If I hadn't read them back-to-back..."
I like that about books. Very often, I think I should be reading two or three books I've read in sequence, because my reading of each of them so influence how I see the others. Part of this happens in teaching consciously. You organize books to speak to each other. So in my personal reading it is typically more accidental, but I often still see how they speak to each other.


message 47: by Cecily (new)

Cecily I read one book at a time, but although I have a large TBR, I don't have much of a plan about what to read and when, though I occasionally choose things that are similar or opposite. But I love it when I notice connections.


message 48: by Alfred (new)

Alfred Haplo Cecily wrote: "One or two people have said I should share photos and experiences etc, but I've yet to work out a good way to do so on GR. Suggestions welcome..."

Hmm...good question. Maybe write a partial review of a road trip travel guide (Lonely Planet, Frommer's, Fodor for e.g.) for Pacific Coast Highway and incorporate observations from the travel? Found this Road Trip USA Pacific Coast Highway. But don't be obligated to do so! It's a personal trip after all.


message 49: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Nice review, I think you summed up my disappointment with it better than I did.


message 50: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Alfred wrote: "Maybe write a partial review of a road trip travel guide... But don't be obligated to do so! It's a personal trip after all."

I was thinking of something along those lines. The main issue is that it's a pain to upload photos from phone to GR, so I may wait till I get back.


« previous 1
back to top