This book is interesting. I fell in love with Neil Gaiman inadvertently, when I saw Stardust years ago on tv. Then, two years ago, I found Stardust on the shelves of a used bookstore. I didn’t even know it was a book! I liked Stardust a lot, so I decided to try what some consider to be Neil’s greatest work, American Gods.
I love fantasy, but this one was a little out there for me. I think what made me love it so much was the tie in to mythology and religion. American Gods follows Shadow, who has spent the last three years in jail. The day before he is set to get released, (SPOILER ALERT, KIND OF) his wife dies. On the plane ride home, a weird man who calls himself Wednesday offers Shadow a job, and Shadow accepts.
Shadow’s job, it turns out, is bodyguard/chauffeur for Wednesday, who turns out to be Thor. Thor is gathering the “old Gods” (aka gods from Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology) to fight the “new Gods” of America who have taken over. The “new Gods” include Technology and TV.
There is a second, more interesting, more realistic, plot line sewn throughout the Gods dialogue. Shadow is concealed by Wednesday in the small town of Lakeside, so none of the opposition can find him before the war begins. There, Shadow begins to notice a pattern of young children disappearing each winter.
So I finished this book last week and immediately began to reread it, mainly because I MISSED THE TWIST. Apparently, at some point in the novel, the person responsible for the children’s disappearances gives Shadow a hint to where the children are, AND I FREAKIN’ MISSED IT! Thus, I am rereading the entire 522 page long (yes, I have the extended version) novel. Also, because it’s pretty amazing and I like to look up all the Gods represented to see how accurate Gaiman’s interpretations are.