Category Archives: Fiction

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

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OK, I should have attended my book club meeting for this one. Definitely. It might have shed some light in the darkness. Because I have to admit I didn’t really get it. I quite enjoyed it…it was no hardship trucking through the 700 or so pages with the likeable protagonist, Shadow. I managed to spot many of the thinly disguised gods that pepper the pages, sometimes extremely incidentally. I got the (anti)christ allusion, what with Shadow inexplicably agreeing to be hung on the world tree for the sake of his father Odin. I got the ‘road trip’ structure. I foresaw the sacrificed children, though I don’t see why the whole Lakeside subplot needed to be there. There were a lot of overly symbolic dreams and otherworld visits that managed to be both tiresome and scary. Nobody ever seemed to stay dead. Though Shadow’s wife’s resurrection certainly didn’t seem to take the plot anywhere. The initial premise that forgotten gods fade and die (even when exported by immigrants to America) and that we have some new ones based on trains and TV and such called things like Media (ho ho, yes I got the nod to the classics there), making a Final Battle inevitable, eventually gets supplanted with the idea that the whole battle was a con set up by Odin and Loki to supply some fresh blood. I think. Shadow stops it. I think. Or was it The Land (aka an underground buffalo)? And there were also a lot of coin tricks.