Monday, July 7, 2014
American Gods is mostly the story of Shadow, a recently released convict who finds himself at a loose end when he discovers his wife has died in a car accident. Having nothing to go home to and no job, Shadow agrees to take up employment with a mysterious man named Mr. Wednesday. As the story unfolds and Shadow tries to understand the events taking place around him, he soon realizes that they people he is dealing with are bigger than he was prepared for; gods kind of bigger. Meanwhile Gaiman also presents us with the stories of the people who brought those gods to this country they find themselves trapped in. With a war between old and new on the horizon, Shadow finds himself enmeshed in things he had not even known were an issue.
Once more Gaiman has presented me with a story that fascinated me until the very end. I have always been fascinated by the old gods, ones that have become obsolete as people forget them and the rituals that were dedicated to them. Gaiman not only gives us an explanation on how those gods made it to our country before fading into the background, but he presents us with how these gods would react and handle the weakening of power as people forget them completely. Meanwhile Shadow is caught up in events that he can hardly believe as gods he could not believe in move around him. Trying to understand everything and simply do as he is told, he is confused by the fact that so many seem to think he is important for no other reason than he is. As that story unfolds, Gaiman did a wonderful job of giving the reader only enough information to be on pace with Shadow as he struggles to figure things out, allowing them to be just as surprised as the main character by the truths hidden behind all the mystery that is the gods.
I love Gaiman's writing style, something I really came into contact with as I moved from his graphic novels to actual novels with Stardust. The fact that he is not originally from America did nothing to stop him from telling an amazing story about the beliefs that led to our mixed culture. He weaves a wonderful tale with his writing skills! I look forward to reading more of his work! I highly recommend this book to everyone looking for a tale outside the norm about beings not only forgotten in the literature, but also among the readers. I hope you are just as impressed as I was by this master of writing. Let me know what you think!