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American Gods (American Gods, #1)
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Longer Reads > May/June: American Gods

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 103 comments Mod
Neil Gaiman's American Gods won the vote for the category of 'Science Fiction and Fantasy' for one of our May reads. Join in the discussion at any time with your thoughts on this book.

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 184 comments This book is incredible.
Shadow is an ordinary man being released from jail after serving a sentence for theft. He is approached my gentleman named Wednesday who informs him that he Shadow is the incarnation of Norse god Thor.
And then things get really weird!

I'm enjoying the combinations of mythologies set in modern-day USA.

message 3: by MK (new) - rated it 5 stars

MK (wisny) | 48 comments I really loved it! (read it just a couple months ago)

Shadow is featured in a short story in one of Gaiman's short story collections, I've been told, but I haven't read it yet. It's supposed to be in Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders, which my husband currently has checked out of the library. I'm hoping to read it before he returns it (not sure if I'll have time to, though).

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 184 comments Thanks
Thought Anansi Boys is a sort of sequel?

message 5: by MK (new) - rated it 5 stars

MK (wisny) | 48 comments Lisa wrote: "Thanks
Thought Anansi Boys is a sort of sequel?"

That's what I thought, too. But, it's more of an off-shoot, than a sequel. It continues the idea of the gods living among us, and features one of the characters from American Gods as an important secondary character, but not one of the main characters, if that makes sense. Anansi Boys is much shorter, and much lighter, than American Gods, too.

Lisa (lisadannatt) | 184 comments Cool

message 7: by MK (new) - rated it 5 stars

MK (wisny) | 48 comments Welcs! :)

Buck (spectru) I read American Gods a year and a half ago. I had read good things about it and I had read a pretty good short story by Gaiman featuring Shadow (a prequel, I think), however American Gods was so unmemorable that I only have the vaguest recollection of it.

Here is my brief Goodreads review of it from September 2012:
The characters are not sympathetic. Most of them in fact are unlikeable, including, and maybe especially, Wednesday. The ones we do like, like Samantha Black Crow and Chad Mulligan, come in and then go out. The main character, Shadow, put me in mind of The Chief in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. (The movie, not the book) People seem to like him, but he gets close to no one. His motivations are pretty much a mystery. The story is a dream state - a long, long dream.

Adrienne I just started reading American Gods this week so I'm only a few chapters into it, but so far I am really enjoying it. I have read really mixed reviews on it; people either love it, hate it, or like Buck, found it very un-memorable with unlikeable characters. Many of the reviews I've read said that Shadow is very hard to sympathize with and is not an interesting, emotional, or multi-dimensional character. So, I'm trying to read the book with that in mind. I think people categorize Shadow like this partly because of Gaiman's style of writing - he is very blunt, very sarcastic, and has dark humor, but also because Shadow is a very jaded character. In chapter three, Shadow is musing over the idea of repressed feelings, saying that if you bottle your emotions long enough, soon you won't feel anything. Maybe this is the kind of person he turns into after three years of prison and the death of his wife.

Any thoughts on Shadow's characterization?

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