Review – American Gods

Posted 16 August, 2017 by Nikki in Reviews / 6 Comments

Cover of American Gods by Neil GaimanAmerican Gods, Neil Gaiman

I know that there’s probably a ton of “problematic” themes/scenes/descriptions in this book; without paying much attention to the specifics, I’ve still gained the impression that Gaiman isn’t exactly beloved of the social justice crowd, for various reasons. And I can definitely understand the criticisms of some of his actions, statements, aspects of his writing… but American Gods is still a really satisfying, solid read, and I enjoyed it. I found some of the mythology a little too obvious this time round — “Low Key Lyesmith”, really? The hints were just way too obvious for someone with a solid knowledge of Norse mythology.

Still, the other mythologies that are glimpsed are less well-known to me, and I love the way they’re all woven together to make a rich story that’s like a tour of the US and of its people’s history. I’ve no doubt there are gods that should have been included and aren’t, and that other gods have more prominence than they probably should (well, Odin for one). But honestly, I wasn’t thinking that while I was reading. I was just enjoying it.

It’s true that Shadow, the main character, is a bit of a cypher — intentionally. It’s hard to like someone who seems to go through life so numbly. But really, I’m here for the game Gaiman’s playing with the mythology, so it works for me all the same.

Some of the stuff that really doesn’t work for me, though, would include the way the female characters are treated: so much sex and lying, and “bitchiness” (for lack of a better word)… I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel quite right.

It’s a fun read, though not perfect. I think that has to be my conclusion.

Rating: 4/5

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6 Responses to “Review – American Gods”

  1. I’ll definitely have to check this book out further! I have yet to read any of Neil Gaiman’s works, and I know I really need to get on that. Is there any particular book of his that you’d recommend reading first? Also, I’m blown away by your Goodreads goal. Congrats on the all the progress you’ve made so far this year. That’s incredible. I just stumbled upon your blog, and I’m greatly enjoying its content.

    I’m new to blogging and book reviewing, and I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I’d love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.

    • Hmm, I’d probably go with Neverwhere or Stardust. Although I know others might say The Graveyard Book!

      Thanks for dropping by! I always visit back, so I’ll drop by sometime today. 🙂

    • I can understand that — he has a specific sort of style and his characters have a lot in common with each other. I’ve enjoyed his books pretty solidly since I was a teen, though, so it’s probably part nostalgia!

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