Wednesday, 14 August 2013

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

This book review comes a while after reading this tome due to a family wedding, a break in and some shop stuff. Anyway, I read this as part of our bookclub, The Big Comfy Bookclub (join online! right HERE). Its over 600 pages so I gave myself (and the group) 5 weeks to read it, It's the second Neil Gaiman book I've read, the first being Stardust.

Gaiman is held in sci-fi and fantasy circles as a talisman, a hero of all. Comics, kids, YA and adult fiction all being conquered. I must admit, I was slightly disappointed with Stardust but delved into American Gods with no preconceptions. I thoroughly enjoyed it all, it was a blast.

The anti-hero of the book is Shadow, a prisoner just released finding his way in the world. The way he was due to navigate was quickly swiped from his grasp in the first chapter or so and thus begins his journey across America.
It's really a road trip. Several stories, characters and locations, both in this world and others, are visited and have an effect on Shadow. A few book club members questioned the reason for Shadow going along with situations just on a whim, or as easily as someone asking. I found this great as I never really knew where it was all heading. He had nothing to lose by going along.
A few minor points for me was every few chapters there would be an in depth story of a culture, a certain male or female, that ran for quite a few pages. It gave the book a larger canvass and understanding of the age of some of the characters, but it took me out of the Shadow story too much.

I've been given some more Gaiman book recommendations and will be tackling them in due course.

On the comfometer I've given it a very strong 7.5 cushions.

If you're in the book club (or want to be) then we should be reading Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson right now, and we have til Aug 30th to finish. It's only 140 pages or so.

I'm actually reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry at the moment and thoroughly enjoying it.

Michael