Thursday, January 13, 2011

book: American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

American Gods is about a guy named Shadow who is released from prison to find his life is pretty much destroyed. His wife was killed in a car accident. The guy who was supposed to give him a job upon his release was killed in the same car crash. They were having an affair.

Shadow meets many strange characters beginning with a man named Wednesday who offers him a job as a bodyguard. As Shadow becomes more involved with Wednesday's dealings, he discovers that the people around him aren't human. They're old gods from various countries: Odin, Anansi, Kali, Easter, Anubis, etc. They were created by the energy of worship and survive by trying to get humans to worship them and make sacrifices.

The old gods believe that new world gods like Media, Town, and World are starting a war to get rid of them.

Wednesday travels around the US in an effort to unite the old gods against the new gods.

This book is quite amazing. The primary story, Shadow's, in itself is detailed and emotional. Shadow is a courageous and somewhat intelligent character. He is fiercely loyal even to people who don't really deserve his loyalty.

Stories about the old gods are woven into the book as well, both ancient and more modern. Gaiman brings the ancients to current times and gives them character. He creates bonds between them and conflict.

What I really liked about this book was the strangeness of it. Gaiman paints alternate realities with such ease. No matter how surreal the setting becomes, it always makes sense.

I don't have a favorite book, but if I were to somehow rank this on the favorite list, it would definitely hit the top 5, probably even the top 3.

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find a download of three short stories (free ebook) and links to my novel excerpts on Scribd.

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