“Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.
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.”
Yes, I am reviewing another Neil Gaiman book, but this one won my “What Book Should I Read Next?” poll so I have to fulfill my promise to review it. I am not complaining that I had to read this book though because like most of Neil Gaiman’s work (See: Coroline, The Graveyard Book and many others) this novel was brilliant and more than a little unique.
The main concept of the novel revolves around gods that have been brought to America by their worshipers who have immigrated to the country over the years and now they are forced to contend the new modern gods who are things we worship today, like the internet or television. I never would have thought of those modern things as gods but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. The more traditional gods who appear in this novel are not only the sort you would expect, like Norse and Egyptian gods, but also lesser known ones that have you reaching for Wikipedia while you read so you can look them up.
As brilliant as this book was it did have its downsides. American Gods is considered a classic by many and it certainly reads like one. While the plot and characters are great, the writing can be a tad long-winded and drawn out, with characters giving speeches so long that if they were a real life person someone would tell them to shut up. There were also some scenes and exchanges that did not add anything to the overall plot or characters.
I would highly recommend American Gods to anyone who liked mythology and wanted a nice big book to read, but I will warn you that this is very much an adult novel. It has strong language, graphic scenes and a lot of sexual scenes and references.
Overall I gave American Gods 4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.com. It lost a point for being too drawn out.
Have you read American Gods? If so what did you think of it? Let me know down below.