My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It took me a few days to collect my thoughts on this book before I could actually review it. Neil Gaiman’s writing style takes some getting used to, but his description techniques definitely won me over (as I am a sucker for useless information about a character- and Gaiman liked letting us know what he ate in the day!)
To breakdown American Gods, we follow ex-criminal Shadow as he finishes his time in prison. 5 days before his release day he finds out his wife Laura has died earlier that morning, and he’s to be let out early. Shadow then finds himself in the company of Mr Wednesday (who he meets on the plane ride home) and from there is is then recruited as his bodyguard. Not knowing exactly who this Mr Wednesday is (he’s told not to ask questions) he follows him on a road trip across America, meeting many eccentric characters. It’s a story about the old gods and the new, finding a comfort in a stranger and realising there is so much more to your life than you realise.
I found this book quite a slow burner, but continuously slow. The pace didn’t pick up, and it was really really hard to read fast. I felt at some points that nothing happened from one point to the next (unless you count Shadow eating breakfast somewhere different and rating the food.
It was sexual, erotic, trippy and violent throughout- but the themes explored with it were deep and insightful.
Easter was one my favourite characters- what a chirpy one who loved food!
The thing I would say would be that I felt it was too long as a whole. We didn’t need paragraphs about the hotel rooms, or food joints or random paragraphs about random people who we never come back to. I would read it for it’s uniqueness, I’ve never read anything like it. And I would read it for the themes and the detail – Neil Gaiman does create expressive works of art that you just have to stare at a little longer to get the full picture.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Bryan Fuller has done with it!