Saturday, December 03, 2011

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Title: American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
Reading Level: medium reading level
Length: 550+ pages
Starred Review: 5/5 stars! I loved this book!

It's been a while since I have finished a book in its entirety, and so here I am, posting to this blog, to let you know about the book that I just finished. I have known Neil Gaiman (pronounced Gay-man) from reading some of his Sandman stuff and watching movies like Coraline. I enjoy his darkness and his light. He's a decent writer.

It's funny, when I started writing this review, I went over to Amazon and checked out some of the less favorable reviews of this book. Most complain that he doesn't give enough description, or that some of the scenes behind the scenes of the book are ambiguous. That is what I liked best about this book! It invites you to infer for yourself what is really going on! It gives a decent look at what the melting pot of America is with all of the religions that were brought with the flow of immigrants that came into this country.

The main story follows Shadow, an ex convict, who loses his wife and his job on the outside 2 days before his scheduled release. The warden lets him out, and on the plane home, he meets an old man who tells Shadow that he needs a bodyguard. Refusing to take no for an answer, Shadow becomes a servant to Wednesday, and goes on a strange adventure between magic and reality, where people we see may or may not be Gods.

I could barely put this book down! The story was compelling, and while it takes a little bit of knowledge of Gods and American geography, and yes - there is ambiguity - I found that the story compelled me further to know what was going to happen next.

I recommend this for, probably, my students and friends who may be a bit more literary, but really you don't have to know a lot about literature and mythology in order to really enjoy the story. It helps to have that background, but the story keeps you interested and it keeps moving along pretty well.

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