Review of 'American Gods'

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Shadow is serving time for hurting someone. Release from jail he finds his wife has died and, not only that, has been cheating on him. Without much to live for he is approached by the mysterious Mr Wednesday…who turns out to be a God. And he needs Shadow's help. What follows is a series of strange road trips with Shadow driving Mr Wednesday around then long periods during which Shadow often spends time wandering around the nostalgic Lakeside where every year they take bets on when an old car will fall through the ice in the spring thaw. He also takes a job with some undertakers (told with vivid detail here). But is he really living? His wife certainly isn't as she often tells him…This is just a bit of the oddness that awaits you in American Gods.

I do enjoy Neil Gaiman as he is often quite humorous though here the humor, if present, is often very dry and ironic. Here Gaiman is striving to say more about the human condition - About belief, modern life, reality and purpose with a healthy dose of the American condition thrown in. What with these lofty goals I did find it a bit difficult to read in places and the pace quite slow throughout (the climax is a bit of an anti-climax with the real conclusion to be found in the epilogue).

Rating:

Review Date: 2013-07-19


Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: headline

Publication Date: 2001


Other reviewed books by Neil Gaiman: