Friday, April 2, 2010

Book Review

I forgot all about doing a book review of the book that my Book Club read. I guess that doesn't bode well for the book huh?

The book we read was American Gods by Neil Gaimin. He is a local author here in my neck of the woods but he is popular internationally. He has written a lot of stuff. The movie Coraline and Star Dust are two movies that I can think of right now.

I liked the book, but it was a tough read. I felt lost a few times. The book was about old gods in America and the newer, hip young gods of our time. The old gods were brought over to America by the early Vikings and other early travelers (Odin, Thor, ect ) and the new gods are money, media, Internet and ect. The young gods want to do away with the old gods as they are getting weak. The old gods, of course don't want to go. The main man is a guy called Shadow and he ends up working for the old gods. They are going around America gathering up the old gods to war with the young gods. You will have to read it yourself to know more. Parts that I didn't get are why old gods were brought in, written about and then they never were mentioned again so why tell a story about them in the first place? I was confused in some other stuff too.

I found it interesting that God (note the capital G) and Jesus Christ were not mentioned in the book. Well, in one small part when Wednesday and his boss are trying to get Easter to join them they prove to her that she has been forgotten as most Americans don't have a clue about Easter, either is pagan roots or the christian part of it.

I liked the book well enough that I will read some of Gaimin's other books. But I am not sure I would recomend this book to others.

Anybody else read this book? What did you think about it?


  1. I haven't read any of his books. I was going to read Graveyard, but then decided I didn't want to read a young adult book. The book was based on a young boy that was raised & cared for by ghosts in a graveyard!

    I liked your book review on American Gods.

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  4. sorry - that was me posting comments and then deleting. My comment was: Sounds like a book I have absolutely no interest in reading.

    Then my computer got way slower than me pushing buttons and I ended up posting twice and then deleting twice.

  5. Good review. It's nice to know what people really think. I am not a fan of that author despite his awards so I don't think I'll be reading any of books.

  6. Ok, so here's the scoop on the book. There is a follow up of sorts called Anansi Boys. I imagine that bringing in some gods and not elaborating more on them was setting up for the following book. Also, Shadow himself represents Jesus. Think about it. God's only son = Odin's only son.

    Truthfully, I thought about this book quite a bit for days after I was done reading it. I really thought about the deeper comparisons of tradition and the modern "anything goes" view of today. It made me stop and think about the Great Melting Pot and traditions that are lost or being lost to time and disinterested generations. Think of it like the Alaskan Natives that have lost so much of their culture. They've been "domesticated" for lack of a better term for how long now? And yet, their cultural identity and stories are disappearing. Worse, it's disappearing in about 3 generations time span. Adults of today don't remember the legends and stories of their grandparents' time. How scary is that? And what happens when their culture is truly gone? That is what this book explores, but in a more mythical light.

  7. Forgot to add, Neil Gaiman is from the UK, Britain to be specific and yes, he does live in your neck of the woods. And oddly, has an interest in bee keeping. And my husband is his biggest fan or close to it.