Tuesday, December 08, 2009

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

American Gods: A Novel, by Neil Gaiman

What if all the gods that were ever worshiped were real, but their power waxed and waned depending on how many followers were alive? Told with Gaiman’s typical wit and style, American Gods explores this idea. Not only the old gods like Odin, Kali, and Anubis appear, but the concept is cleverly updated to include the new gods of the Internet, mass media, and black ops. The plot follows Shadow, a recent ex-con serving as bodyguard and man Friday to the mysterious Mr. Wednesday; set against that journey is the larger story of a brewing war between the old and new gods for supremacy. The setting is almost a third character in itself: in the old world gods flocked to places of power like Stonehenge and the Labyrinth of Knossos, but here more eclectic places like the House on the Rock and Rock City are favored. The dichotomy of old and new pervades the book and adds a great deal of depth to the story. Even at close to 600 pages, the novel was a quick read and nearly impossible to put down. Truly excellent.

First Sentence:
Shadow had done three years in prison.

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