Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I've taken the weekend to think it over and I still don't know how to start with this review. It is not an easy book to pin down into one genre, it is a great hulking beast of a novel coming in at over 600 pages it is not a quick read but once you have started it is very hard to put down.

In the simplest most literal terms this book is about Shadow who is released from prison after the sudden death of his wife and the subsequent journey he goes on with the mysterious Mr Wednesday. This book is also about mythology (Egyptian, Norse, Irish, German, you name it and it's in there), modern American culture, passing trends and what happens when they become outdated, death and the afterlife, treachery, sleight of hand, history ... I could go on so many themes are covered. Above all, for me, this book is about the very soul of America and how it has been knitted together from it's very diverse ethnic groups into one very unique culture. As a history student that is what I identified with most and the small little asides at the end of chapters about another group finding America were definitely what I enjoyed most.

It would be pointless to try and explain what happens further, this is one that really has to be experienced to understand. Very funny, insightful, fantastical, philosophical and at times downright disturbing (I'm looking at you Bilquis). It's made me reevaluate my (perhaps harsh) review of Neverwhere and bump Neil Gaiman up my favourite author list. Give this a go, you won't regret it!

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