American Gods – Neil Gaiman

Hello guys!

How are you doing these days? Have you started to gnav the walls yet? I haven’t reached that level, yet, but I’m quite ready for society to become somewhat normal again! The book I’ve finished this time is quite famous, although I seems to be among a few who isn’t head over heels for it, haha. The synopsis is borrowed from Norli Bokhandel:

After three years in prison, Shadow has served his time. But as the days and hours until his release tick away, he can feel a storm brewing. Two days before his release date, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr. Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town. But the storm is about to break . . .

So American Gods…Uhm, first of all, not quite my typa read. For the main part of the book, starting at the beginning, I feel like I’m walking behind a three year old in the grocery store trying to keep up with the child who moves about, meeting someone new, and evaporating from one place to a new one with me barely understanding how its happening. The story, in my opinion, is jumpy and fragmentet, and just full of chaos. When we get acquainted with certain characters later this makes more sense but my goodness Mr. Gaiman, couldn’t you have made this a bit easier for me? I think that what makes this book great for so many readers is the experienced chaos that our main character Shadow goes through. I think a lot of readers can relate this to their own life and therefore it makes great sense, and I can understand that, I’m just not a reader who has the most chaotic life, neither on the inside or the outside. Yet, all the episodes in this story makes somewhat sense in a weird way. Even to me. If you look for it, and here I’m going to thank my Senior English teacher in high school for providing me with this ability to look, you can sense a red thread that moves through the shadows of the book. It’s there, and it all makes sense in the end, but not until you slightly start to pick up on it. This took me a very long time because my mind was more focused on the chaos of the book. My neat freak brain goes sorta crazy over chaotic stories so whenever I stumble upon one I read it because I view it as great exercise for my mentality.

The great thing about this book is that Gaiman is good at weaving in hints about the gods that Shadow meets throughout his journey. If you’ve paid extra attention in history class you pick up on these hints and are able to guess the god before he or she is revealed. There was several familiar gods of which I’ve heard about before, but there was also a lot of new gods that came from different lores from all over the world. I enjoyed that Gaiman simply just doesn’t drop the gods name on the reader and moves on. He gives us a glimpse of what this god represents which gives you another chance to wrack your brain for information about this god. All in all it makes for a great chance of the reader engaging with the story on many different levels! This was easily my favorite part of the book.

Characterwise I had a hard time figuring Shadow out. As a main character I feel that we don’t get the chance to know him that well and yet we partake in some quite intimate moments whilst we follow him on his journey. I believe that Gaiman has intended for us to get to know him on a deep emotional level, whilst regular formalities, like family and friends, is mainly ignored. We get to know that he is married and that he has a best friend. I have to cut this part short this time because if I start to speak about other characters you’ll most likely figure out who they are and I don’t want to spoil your fun!

American Gods is in my opinion a book that either suits you or doesn’t. It was my typa read but is wasn’t bad either. It had some good aspects to it, and if you take the time to look deep into the story and use the knowledge you posses from before I think it can be a very rewarding read for many!

Published: 2001

Genre: Fantasy

Theme: Gods, family, war

– The Book Reader


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