Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review: "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman

As a reviewer, I pride myself on letting people who read my reviews find out about new authors they may have never heard of, so a book like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is probably one of the more well-known titles I will read, at least among the book lovers I know. I have mentioned before that I do not like Science Fiction, and the same can be said for fantasy as well. I do not find it low art or anything like that; it’s just not for me. There isn’t any other explanation I can give. But before I criticize this book, I would like to point out what I feel personally for Gaiman, from the interviews I see him in. Aside from Stephen King, he is one of the nicest literary figures out there, and carries himself with gentleness and eloquence in an industry that rewards crassness and belligerency all too often. Having said that, I must say, I did not like American Gods very much. It has elements that I really enjoyed, but none of those are probably what will drive many people to heap claim on it. It begins with a man named Shadow, who, once he is released from prison, finds that his wife and best friend have been killed, leaving him lost and alone. With no real options, he takes a job offered to him by Mr. Wednesday, a slick con man who introduces him into a world where gods live among us, and war between the old and new that brings with it worldly implications. What I liked about this book were its more realistic elements, such as the prison setting, and the journey Shadow takes after losing everything. The real treat with this book is how the loneliness of Shadow really permeates every word on the page. He is a man dealing with forces he has no comprehension of, and is totally out of place in this battle. But that is an exception, because most everything else really lost me. Since I do not know much about mythology, I didn’t get many references to who the gods were or why they were doing what they were doing, post-God status. I felt the plot was weak, which is what drove me away from Sci-Fi/Fantasy, which is more based on cool ideas than story. By no means a bad book, and one I understand can capture a reader’s imagination; I am simply not the audience for this find of story.
Rating: 3/5

No comments:

Post a Comment