thoughts on gaiman’s american gods

I haven’t read all things Neil Gaiman but I’ve read enough to know that I enjoy his storytelling. (Plus, I’ve harbored a “schoolgirl crush” on him for decades!) His world-building feels real and inventive, and his writing has that touch of humor I enjoy. One of Gaiman’s classic works is American Gods which I finally read last month. (I have a lot of reading to catch up on!)

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The characters are memorable weirdos and the plot line has plenty of intrigue, tension, and depth. No spoilers here, but the story builds up wonderfully and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out how it would resolve.

The story is about a battle brewing between old and new gods on American soil. The old gods, like Scandinavia’s Odin and Africa’s Anansi, followed true believers as they resettled in the “new land” from all over the world. The new gods are newly formed, created by all the things that increasingly capture our time and imagination like media and technology.

Most people I know who have read and raved about the book couldn’t praise it enough. I didn’t need much convincing to push the book toward the top of my reading list. I mean, it is Neil Gaiman we’re talking about!

The resolution as it relates to the protagonist was satisfying. And the resolution of the battle was logical; it seemed in keeping with what the driving character of the battle would do. But the truth about it left me feeling cheated on visceral level. I know it was clever but it felt like a cheap shot. And I really hate saying that.

But having said that, I have to emphasize that I still enjoyed the writing and the storytelling (except for that bit that irritates me). He has lots of interesting twists, incorporates folklore and fantasy which I love, and throws in a generous amount of humor for good measure.

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