Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.
Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman born Neil Richard Gaiman; 10 November 1960)is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book (2008).
I read a lot of the children's books by Neil Gaiman and have been eying his adult books for a while already. I first picked up Ocean at the End of the Lane earlier this year when I heard Gaiman was visiting my country to give a talk about that book but it did give me a good reason to put some of his other books higher upon my "To Be Read" pile too, starting with American Gods.
With every Gaiman book I read I get the same feeling in the first pages. I really need to switch a logic button on my panel to be able to accept the world and situations Gaiman is setting in his books. The beginning of American Gods does help a bit because it still seems quite normal and slowly pulls you into the maybe not so normal. I really enjoyed the developments in the story and the flow. The pace of the story is pleasant and kept me captivated. There was enough information on all the things happening that it was possible to wonder along with Shadow about what was actually going on which is something I love to do in a book.
On the character side it was a bit busy. There are obviously a lot of Gods and they have a lot of people going around. The main character Shadow was not someone I could easily connect to. He felt distant and even though there are many things happening to him I never really got an idea that he realized it. On the other hand I noticed that did not really bother me which is pretty weird as I usually love to hook myself up to one of the main characters in a story. I did enjoy the character of Mr. Wednesday a lot. The dishonesty was pouring trough the pages and it was easy to feel that he was so charming that everybody fell for it anyway. I really liked Mr. Nancy and Mr. Ibis too and would not have mind more of them in the story.
Though I really enjoyed this book and will probably read it again at some point it is not an "easy" read. I felt I really had to pay attention to what was happening and there are many background stories and little explanations about the gods to give the reader an idea about their influence and strength which are important to know if you want to place them on the right spot in the story. If you are planning on reading this do take your time, it is worth it.
Author: Neil Gaiman
Series: American Gods #1
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