#21: American Gods, Neil Gaiman

Alright, alright. I was mistaken.  This book is awesome.

I’ve shared with some friends in the past that I hated this book.  I couldn’t undersand the mythology.  The characters (i.e., Shadow…) were boring and I only could get through 20 or so pages before giving up.

I was wrong.

American Gods was spectacular.  Shadow’s dull nature became quite fascinating throughout the book.  His confusion between what was real and what was happening in his imagination could not have been so realistic had he been more thoughtful or boastful.   There were a few parts I wished for a better background in mythology – I won’t spoil it here, but if you’ve read it you know there is a big reveal at the end about two people who are friends – so I could have followed some of the foreshadowing a little better.   Other than that, I put this book down happily knowing that my previous disdain for it was uncalled for.

Without ruining the details for those who haven’t read it… my most favorite part of this novel was toward the end when Shadow and Wednesday find themselves in a diner chatting with Eoster.  Her characterization – passion, love, rebirth – is so beautiful.  Her misunderstanding about how people actually feel about her is so real.   When she returns later, I had an “aha!” moment and laughed to myself a little.

If you read this, do so on an e-reader so you have easy access to Wiki… not knowing who the characters are can be a little confusing sometimes and having access to that resource will enhance the experience if you’re not already familiar with them.

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