Title: ”American Gods”
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: 2001 (the TV Tie-In was published in 2017)
Goodreads rating: 5☆
Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.
But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.
Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies…and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing – an epic war for the very soul of America – and that he is standing squarely in its path.
Thank you man at the bookshop! Honestly, I just love it when people I don’t know come and recommend really good books to me. I dare say this has been the best recommendation I’ve got so far 😀
At first I was quite intimidated by the book, I mean take a look at it. It’s a huge book and I felt kind of like maybe the story would be too much for me to handle. Well now that I’ve read it I am really cursing myself for underestimating my reading potential. I have shied away from books like this for way too long!
“All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them.”
This novel was by far one of the most complex books I’ve read…ever. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, something happened or something was said that just turned the story in a different direction a bit. It never went far from the main storyline, but it did tip the scales on many occasions.
I am a really big fan of mythology, legends and all sorts of beliefs, and reading about them never fails to nail me to the spot. Neil Gaiman did such an amazing job here with his take on religion and gods. It felt like such an inventive and shocking way to talk about these ”taboo” topics.
“There’s never been a true war that wasn’t fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.”
Besides the way Gaiman gave on the story of the main character, the way he wrote it, I absolutely loved the crazy-all-over-the-place band of characters he had. The way they interacted and the way they reflected the cultures they (speaking of the gods here) represented was mind-blowing. I freaking loved the concept of ”new” taking over the ”old”, the fight between traditions and beliefs born hundreds of years ago and then something new born out of addiction to change (pretty much, I mean?!).
“Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.”
And of course putting asides the gods, we have to talk about the main character Shadow, who is one of the greatest main characters to this day, whose POV I’ve read from. When there are usually lots of moments where I doubt the main characters decisions and sayings, then with Shadow this didn’t happen. I vey much liked the way he thought and acted. There was a pleasant ”I don’t give a damn!” air about him and it made Shadow so much more interesting. Seeing this man just quite casually come to terms with everything happening was funny in a way. I feel like the reader could really feel all his pain that came from being in prison and losing his wife, through his actions and words. Every emotion came through really well.
“I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”
There were so many things about this novel that just made me fall in love with reading all over again and to put everything I felt into words, is kind of impossible. Neil Gaiman truly is a master of his art.
“Every hour wounds. The last one kills.”
If anyone is in search of a book that is urban fantasy and mythology and a whole bunch of crazy mixed together… this is the book for you!
“Too much talking these days. Talk talk talk. This country would get along much better if people learned how to suffer in silence.”
Check the book out on Goodreads here.