Friday, June 14, 2013

American Gods

We follow Shadow after he is released from prison to go to his wife's funeral. He encounters Mr. Wednesday and life is never the same. The combination of myths in a unique modern retelling was very enjoyable. I couldn't wait to see what god would appear next, and what their role would be.

My favorite part of this book was how Gaiman told the tales of different gods. How they arrived in America, and what gave them their powers. Some of the gods were resigned to their fate as they fade from people's memories. Others, listen to the persuasive arguments of Mr. Wednesday and decide to battle with the new gods. They battle for our attention/obsession because this is what allows them to exist. This is also the source of their power. I like the idea that what we give our time and attention to is what our god truly is.

Some of the old gods that make an appearance are Eostre, Loki, Anansi, Thoth, Anubis, Leprechauns, and Johnny Appleseed.

Some of the new gods mentioned are the Media, Technology, and Fame.

I also liked the conversations Shadow has with his dead wife. They are insightful, amusing, and sad. They are all of these things because she is dead, and it is a little late for some of the conversations. Yet, they can happen because she is dead.

There is so much to say about this book, but I don't want to spoil it for first time readers. Read it! This is a book that as soon as you finish you want to read again, so you can appreciate all the details since you are no longer focused on figuring out what is going to happen. I appreciate the care that Gaiman took in connecting everything down to the names of the characters. I recommend this book if you enjoy mythology and brilliant storytelling.

1 comment:

  1. Completely agree! An excellent book from an outstanding author. I'm always somewhat leery of stories that modernize myth, but Gaiman has set a high standard with his writing, and did not disappoint here.