American Gods (Neil Gaiman)

This has been on my TBR list since Amazon announced the TV series. Rather than simply watch the TV series, I told myself I would read the book first – and I have stuck by that. The book was weird, long, and really sodding good.

Shadow Moon is in prison. And a few days before he is released, his wife dies in a crash, along with his best mate. So bam, wife and job gone. On his way home he gets offered a job by the mysterious and crude Mr Wednesday, as his… assistant/muscle. And so begins the weirdest few months of Shadow’s life.

This. Book. Is. Blunt. And. It. Is. Really. Weird.

Seriously – one of the first chapters made me sit back and got what the actual hell have I decided to read (for those in the know, the first chapter with Bliquis – straight up ?!?!). There are lots of names, and lots of religions and beliefs. One of the things I liked the most about this book were the stories of the people who bought x, y or z God over to America in the first place – people looking for a good wind to get the hell out of dodge, people leaving a crust of bread out for the piskies (?) And passing the stories, if not the belief, onto their children. And thus it’s a cooking pot of a nation with a cooking pot of God’s and mythological peeps working a twelve hour shift at a cafe or some such.

Despite being so long it didn’t feel it – yes, it meandered, and yes there are whole sections that make absolutely zero sense, but you kind of roll with it anyway. It was interesting, and it was weird enough to be weird without being too out there (she says, talking about a bloke wandering around with century old asshole gods and a flaming bull) so it was really good fun.

I was reading this in the morning, before work or starting my day, and then (thank you bank holiday weekend) I finished and it was strange that it was over. The ending was not a surprise in many respects – a couple of good surprises, and I love Samantha Black and Mr Nancy. Just do. Sam is awesome, Mr Nancy stays just on the right side of irritating while Mr Wednesday is a straight up sleaze so I wasn’t too much of a fan.

The thing is, this is really long, nd weird, so while I say “read it, it’s good” I’m also saying, “but I totally get why you wouldn’t”. I’m glad I read it, but I am on no hurry to do so again.

Bea

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