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A fantastic journey through America

Sami Beers, News Editor

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Title: American Gods

Author:

Neil Gaiman

Stars: 4.5/5

Summary:

“A storm is coming”, and Shadow seems to be caught right in the middle of it. After being released from prison Shadow learns that his wife has died which throws his life into freefall. However, as he begins his journey home he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday who shows him another side to America, and in doing so sends him crashing into a world populated with figures from every mythology imaginable. As Shadow struggles to discover the reason for his involvement and the truth behind the trouble brewing he finds himself on a winding epic that spans America’s heartland. As the tale of Shadow and Mr. Wednesday unfolds it is also interspersed with the stories of dying gods all while the storm draws ever closer.

Review:

I loved this book, and the main reason was for the characters and the ideas that it presents. American God’s use of mythology and the idea of the mixing of new and old gods was both interesting and well done. Despite the appearance of gods this not a religious novel, but rather one that examines culture, heritage, and the beliefs that define who we are. It looks at the ways our society has changed and the fundamentals of American culture through interesting, flawed and multidimensional characters like Hinzelmann, Czernobog, and Wednesday himself, not to mention the characters in the asides.

Some of my favorite parts were the excerpts and asides that concerned other gods and mythology such as the stories of “the girl whose uncle sold her” and the migration of the first people, although they gave a slightly disjointed feel to the book. And no matter the story the settings were also fantastic and expertly detailed with a mix of hyper-realistic small town America and phantasmagorical dreamscapes. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in mythology and big ideas, and if you like this book Neil Gaiman also wrote a companion novel, Anansi Boys, that I would highly recommend as well.

Warnings:

Contains sexual situations and violence

Similar recomended books:

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil

Gaiman

The Golden Compass by Philip Pulman

The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks

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A fantastic journey through America