Friday, December 3, 2010

American Gods

I believe this is my first Blogger book review. The title of the novel is in the title of the post: American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It is by far the best novel I've read so far by Mr. Gaiman, the other two being Stardust and Coraline. He is a great writer, says I, and this would make a great film. It begins with Shadow Moon (funny name, eh?) being released from prison after a three-year sentence. On the day of his release, he learns that his wife, Laura, has been killed in a car crash. On the plane ride home, he meets a man man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. Wednesday offers Shadow a job: to protect Wednesday and act as a bodyguard, and not to ask questions. A storm rocks the plane, but Wednesday says that a far bigger storm is coming. And one does, toward the end, both literally and metaphorically.

Actually, I won't tell the entire plot here for two reasons: I don't want to spoil it, and I don't remember every little detail. The only flaw I could think of was that it had a few coincidences for plot convenience, but no book is perfect. I will say that many gods from many cultures are featured in the book (but not Greek!), and that it is what I call an R-rated book: a lot of cursing, sex, violence, etc.

If you want to know how it ends, read it. But I'll say this: It had more elaboration than Coraline and more "plants and payoffs" than Stardust. All in all, a very good book. It took me a short while once I really began to read intensely, which gave me an idea: I should have a weekly "reading night" in which I try to finish or at least get really far into a book. For some reason, I automatically thought of Tuesday as a night for this.

I suppose I should grade the book. Final grade: B+/A-

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