I’m not sure if you know this Fangirls, but I love mythology. A lot. It’s my favorite subject of all time. I also have discovered a love for Neil Gaiman and his genius writing. I’m not joking, he is a genius. But more on that later. I just finished his novel American Gods, and let me tell you it’s one of the most fun books I’ve read
To not give anything away, I’ll just do a basic plot summary. The main character is named Shadow. Shadow has been in prison for almost three years, and his day of freedom is close. Closer than he thinks, because two days before his official release he is told that his wife has died in a car accident and he is being released early under the circumstances. On the flight home, he meets Mr. Wednesday, who offers him a job as a driver and sometimes bodyguard. Shadow reluctantly agrees, and finds himself thrown into a world – a war – of old gods and new gods.
The characters he meets along the way are from many different cultures, and have many different personalities. I won’t give away who everyone is, because you and Shadow meet each character in their disguise and their real form. But everyone he meets plays an important part in the story Shadow unfolds.
Now, why I think Neil Gaiman is a genius. You will be going along, reading, enjoying the adventure, needing to know what happens next and then BAM a seemingly random paragraph that actually tells a lot about the story that’s unfolding and what Neil Gaiman is saying through this story. For example, at one point he writes,
One describes a tale best by telling the tale. You see? The way one describes a story, to oneself or to the world, is by telling the story. It is a balancing act and it is a dream. The more accurate the map, the more it resembles the territory. The most accurate map possible would be the territory, and thus would be perfectly accurate and perfectly useless. The tale is the map which is the territory. You must remember this.
Follow all of that? I love this paragraph, and it fits with the story as a whole perfectly while also having nothing to do with the plot. I love it, it’s brilliant.
I read the Author’s Preferred Text edition, in preparation for the upcoming series that I’m sure will include stuff from this specific version. Starz Channel is creating a series for this story, and it’s being run by Bryan Fuller who ran other shows such as Pushing Daisies and Hannibal and the upcoming Star Trek Discovery. I have no doubt that American Gods is in good hands.
I highly recommend this to people who like mythology, mystery, and deep deep meaning. If you’re curious but not totally sold, take a look at the trailer for the show here. I’m thrilled that I read this and that a series is coming.
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