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American Gods Discussion > American Gods discussion

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message 1: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 223 comments Mod
Miguel's selection for May is American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Please post your discussions here.


message 2: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 223 comments Mod
May is here. Time for some American gods. Anyone watch the show?


message 3: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (artemitch) | 96 comments Until you brought it up, Jenn, I forgot that there was even a TV show. I have not seen one second of it, lol. Not even a trailer or anything.

I, uh, will also not be getting to the book this month. I still plan on catching up with Heavy and The Rosie Project, and now this. Kinda looking forward to plowing through my ever-growing list of book-club reads in the coming weeks.

Also, you can go ahead and skip me for the next cycle. I know I haven’t been keeping up with the reading. I look forward to revisiting this thread and the others in a few (weeks).


message 4: by Julie (new)

Julie Place | 87 comments I’m about 180 or so pages in to this and I have to say I’m loving it. It’s definitely not something I would have picked up on my own. But it’s definitely caught my attention. I’m from Wisconsin so reading about Madison and spring green, him eating a Culver’s, driving down a long the Mississippi into Iowa and Illinois and then they spend a night in La Crosse which is where I’m currently living that has been fun for me to read from a characters point of view.


message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie Place | 87 comments I really enjoyed this book! It’s weird to think about that we as Americans never believed in gods but we sure do worship a lot of fleeting things!


message 6: by Miguel (last edited May 22, 2019 07:30AM) (new)

Miguel (miggy126) | 74 comments Jenn wrote: "May is here. Time for some American gods. Anyone watch the show?
"


I haven't watched the show but after reading this I might have to give it a shot. Only bad thing is it's on Starz and I don't want another subscription under my belt.


message 7: by Miguel (new)

Miguel (miggy126) | 74 comments I’ll begin with Shadow. I thought his character development was good along with his storytelling. I honestly don’t know how he hung on after finding out his wife cheated on him with a good friend of his then finding out on his last day of prison that they both died. Kudos to Shadow for pulling through and trotting on. Wednesday was also a very cool character. Very mysterious and dark but had some confidence to him. I guess finding out later that he is Odin might explain it. I also really liked the side characters they met in Chicago. I forgot the names of these Gods but they were also really interesting.

I initially thought the story was becoming a bit of a drag. So much travelling with very little happening. However, soon I realized that every scene was important to the build from the gathering of the troops to the battle itself. On their travels when you think it starts to get a bit boring they throw something new in the story line that makes it interesting. One of those interesting plots was the town of riverside I believe it was called that is located in Wisconsin. I’ve been to Wisconsin during the winter months and I swear the wind blows different up there. Cold and sharp.

His time in Riverside I found to be very entertaining. The characters he meets there are also very intriguing. The car in the lake and the missing girls. Along with his neighbor who I originally thought he might end up with because he would fit in perfectly. I forget her name but the hitchhiker was also a nice fit in the story. I don’t believe her role was of that much importance but it did add a certain kick to it.

The part that really got to me was the vigil that Shadow did for Wednesday. I just could not imagine being tied to a damn tree for 9 days. The anxiety, hunger, thirst, and the uncontrollable urges to scratch would drive me insane. I would’ve asked one of the dwarves to take my place. The death process I also found really interesting when he chose to be in peace instead of coming back. His explanation of it was very similar to other Near Death Experiences. Well the people that recall these experiences die for so and so minutes. Some recall just a peaceful darkness and others recall something completely different. For some reason I felt a similar way to Shadow in the fact that he just wanted peace. I’m sure many would choose the same thing after living their lives.

Anyway, I’ll probably watch an episode or two soon and definitely keep you all updated. Thank you for letting me choose this book for our bookclub 😊


message 8: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (artemitch) | 96 comments [haven't read all the comments yet!] I'm a fifth of the way and I'm really liking it so far. I'm starting to warm up to Neil Gaiman. I thought The Graveyard Book was amazing, although I was a little iffy with The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

I don't know what's happening, actually. Or I should say I don't know why Wednesday's making Shadow do all the things he does, but's it's been interesting to read. It's certainly original and inventive. I think Wednesday might be a god or something, and Czernoborg(sp.) too. Not sure about all the Zoryas.

I dig the magical realism too. It's hard to pull of well, but Gaiman is like a master at it. I'm thinking he's basing some of these magical elements/characters out of existing folklore. We'll see.


message 9: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (artemitch) | 96 comments Okay, I am now halfway through the book and I'm struggling with it a little bit. I don't do well with stories that just consist of characters traveling from place to place. Also, I think this is kinda long...

I really liked the first 100 pages or so, but now it's just wearing me out. I'm considering putting it down :/. But then again, I've been having issues with even finishing a book lately. I've DNF'd quite a few already.


message 10: by Jenn (last edited May 29, 2019 09:35PM) (new)

Jenn | 223 comments Mod
I'm about 150 pages into the book, and it's not for me. Although, I will keep reading.

I'm a huge fan of The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. It was the first thing of his that I read, and I loved it. But everything else I've read by Neil Gaiman has bored and/or angered me. It's his writing, I think. He's a bad writer.

Here's what I mean:

"Shadow got into the car and opened the passenger door. The light that goes on in cars when the front door is opened did not go on in this car."

No sentence length variation. Pace-slaughtering rows of two- and three-letter words.

And the writing is like this all throughout the book. It's like this throughout all of his books that I've read, except for The Sandman series. Or no--it's not. I just opened the book to a random page, and there's totally sentence length variation and long words cutting up rows of short words. Why does his writing always seem so bland and newbish to me?

If I could get passed the writing style, I could love this book. Gaiman's ideas are great. They always are. The TV adaptation of American Gods is great. The part where Czernobog tells Shadow that he'll bash Shadow's head in if Shadow loses their game of checkers is chilling, in the show. In the book, though--meh. It's so everyday-seeming to Czernobog, and Shadow seems so apathetic about his fate--and I guess this is supposed to add to the horror of the scene, but, instead, it just all seems mundane. I don't know. Maybe if I didn't already know how that scene would play out, it would have been shocking in the way Gaiman was aiming for. Did that scene shock any of you?


message 11: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (artemitch) | 96 comments Jenn wrote: "I'm about 150 pages into the book, and it's not for me. Although, I will keep reading.

I'm a huge fan of The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. It was the first thing of his that I read, and I loved i..."


I get what you mean. His prose style isn't the greatest. I wouldn't say it's terrible, either. It's . . . unexceptional, I guess. There's some charm to it every once in a while, but I agree, the writing isn't really exciting.

Was that scene supposed to be chilling? I think Czernobog would do it, but the way it was written makes it seem like he would never get the chance to, or that Shadow wouldn't really die from his hammer blow, if it gets to that point. I didn't take that too seriously (even if Gaiman meant for it to be taken seriously). Actually, I didn't take anything that's happened in the book too seriously. The tone of it is just too whimsical/fun/magical for me to, if that makes any sense, and I don't mean that in a bad way.

On a different note:
Seems to me like the book's just trying to entertain/whisk people away on a fantastical adventure away from their own life problems. Of course we could always talk about & analyze the function of these different gods and what a hodgepodge of them in America represent, and how their histories and folkloric origins relate to the present day, but it's just more fun to read it as an adventure novel, of which I don't enjoy much, sadly.

I like to look at a show's rating/critical reception before I start a series just to see what I'm getting myself into so I don't feel like I've wasted time watching it. The first season looks excellent, the second . . . not so much. I might still check out the first few episodes, though.


message 12: by Jenn (last edited May 30, 2019 09:25AM) (new)

Jenn | 223 comments Mod
Michelle,

I've only seen season 1. It was really good. Not GoT good, but still really good. I don't know if I'd buy a Starz subscription for it. Maybe you could find it at your library.


message 13: by Julie (new)

Julie Place | 87 comments Jen, I don’t think anything can compare to GoT


message 14: by Jenn (new)

Jenn | 223 comments Mod
True, lol


message 15: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (artemitch) | 96 comments Ah, I see. Speaking of GoT . . . have you guys watched all of Season 8 yet? I still have to watch the last three episodes. I know many are riled up about the finale lol


message 16: by Miguel (new)

Miguel (miggy126) | 74 comments I'm sorry some of you are having trouble finishing the book. I admit I did get to that point very often as they were travelling. However, something kept pulling me back in within the story and it was def worth finishing. I hope you can find in you to finish the book.


message 17: by Miguel (new)

Miguel (miggy126) | 74 comments Ah GOT. These last 2 seasons have been rather disappointing. Just goes to show how the producers and HBO rushed to finish it.


message 18: by Jenn (last edited May 31, 2019 07:03AM) (new)

Jenn | 223 comments Mod
Miguel--just a few pages after I wrote my quarter-book review in here, I read the jinn story and thought it was really well done, of course.


Re: GoT

(spoilery?)

Season 8 needed to be twice as long. And that 2nd-to-last episode... I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it--visually stunning, emotionally turbulent, pretty much all the things you want from good TV... and, yet, in the end, all you can think is, "WTF, GoT??"


message 19: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (artemitch) | 96 comments Miguel wrote: "Ah GOT. These last 2 seasons have been rather disappointing. Just goes to show how the producers and HBO rushed to finish it."

Meanwhile, George is taking forever with the last two books. But if they come out superb, I won't complain.


message 20: by Miguel (new)

Miguel (miggy126) | 74 comments Michelle wrote: "Miguel wrote: "Ah GOT. These last 2 seasons have been rather disappointing. Just goes to show how the producers and HBO rushed to finish it."

Meanwhile, George is taking forever with the last two ..."


lol I hope with the show ending he finds time to finish the books. At this pace my grandchildren will have to wait as well.


message 21: by Miguel (new)

Miguel (miggy126) | 74 comments Jenn wrote: "Miguel--just a few pages after I wrote my quarter-book review in here, I read the jinn story and thought it was really well done, of course."

The Jinn story was one of my favorites of the book. I had heard of Jinn before but never really looked into it. The way the book used it was very good and how the two swap places so conveniently was awesome.


message 22: by Jenn (last edited Jun 04, 2019 01:20PM) (new)

Jenn | 223 comments Mod
The way the book used it was very good and how the two swap places so conveniently was awesome.

Yeah. I loved the mix of emotions at the end of that story. The human and jinn had this incredible night of passion, and you're so happy for the human because he's finally found someone in this weird foreign country he can relate to, and maybe he's even found someone for the first time ever to really be with... and he wakes up alone. Abandoned. But not entirely--he's been offered this new identity, an escape from his overbearing brother-in-law and the cruel life he's lived as a gay son to parents who would rather he were someone else. (I love that his sexuality and his family's opinion of his sexuality are never directly addressed in the story; it all feels very much "in the closet" until he meets the jinn.) It's a beautiful story. The whole book has gotten a lot better since page 150. I really need to stop commenting on these books until after I've finished them.


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