American Gods

Given the hype surrounding this title, it was only natural to have such high hopes for what became Neil Gaiman's signature work. American Gods was an intelligent and gripping read from the very first page, and it should live up to most readers' lofty expectations. It certainly did for me, in any case!

As is the author's wont, Gaiman takes us on an enjoyable and unforgettable ride. He is a master storyteller, no doubt. His brand of witty humor can be found throughout this yarn, yet make no mistake: American Gods is a thoughtful tale that resounds with depth. The way he tinkers with the various mythologies forming the backdrop of this novel is nothing short of astounding.

At times hilarious and at times poignant, American Gods is a well-balanced book. Rich in emotions and details, with well-crafted characters and storylines, as well as an arresting imagery, this one will keep you reading well past your bedtime a few days running. I was utterly captivated, and I didn't want it to end.

It's not just Gaiman's fertile imagination which imbues this novel with so much life. No, it's the author's uncanny perception of the world around him which makes American Gods such a genuine study of the cultural heritage of the multiethnic population that is endemic to the USA.

Neil Gaiman has captured the American "small town" feel like few writers have been able to do, especially considering that he is not American himself. It feels as though he managed to condense the very essence of what is the United States of America, in all its complexity and idiosyncraties.

In the end, American Gods is many things: Provocative, moving, engrossing, funny, original. But most of all, it's a wonderful read accessible to any reader looking for a quality read. It's no surprise, then, to realize that this title was able to transcend the boundaries of speculative fiction.

Once more, I have to wonder how I could let this book sit there for so long. If, like me, you already own this fantastic novel, please put it at the very top of your "books to read" pile. And if you don't already have a copy, I suggest you buy it ASAP. Doubtless, American Gods will be one of your favorite reads of the year!

The final verdict: 9/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

18 commentaires:

Paul D said...

As much as I liked AG, I think that Anansi Boys, the semi-sequel, even better. I think I might be alone in that, I liked the lighter tone it had.

Pamela Milkweed said...

I'm with you paul d! I like Gaiman's lighter work better than AG -- Anansi Boys, Stardust, and especially Neverwhere, one of my favorite books of all time.

Larry said...

I prefer his "darker" stuff, like Coraline and especially the Sandman comics, to AG.

Anonymous said...

Gaiman is god. hands down. he rocks my socks with every book he writes.

RobB said...

I liked it alot and glad you enjoyed it Pat. Good we are back to liking the same things, that is until I post my review of Shadowbridge.

I would probalby consider The Sandman Gaiman's signature work, though.

Matt said...

I am confused, Pat. Though I too liked the book, I don't understand how you can write a review without even mentioning the characters, the plot, or any broad based detail. Just curious as to why you don't give those who read your reviews a starting point so that they know what about the book is so awesome?

Carl V. said...

Glad you enjoyed it, it is an amazing book. I suggest that you pick up a copy of Fragile Things as soon as you get a chance so that you can read the novella, Monarch of the Glen which follows up with Shadow on another adventure after the events of American Gods. It is quite good.

Anonymous said...

Not only that, but I think Fragile Things is some of his absolute best work. Period!

Maurice said...

If you haven't yet Pat, check out the Sandman comics. There are two new collections out of a planned four, which are sadly expensive, but very well worth the money. Sandman is the best thing Gaiman has ever produced.

Maurice said...

And Matt above has a very good point.

Anonymous said...

Harriet Klausner?



-C

Cecrow said...

I've toured the actual House On The Rock in Wisconsin and I heard it appears in this novel; that's where my interest began. Glad to know it's a book worth looking forward to.

Ed S. said...

I also agree with Matt and others above. This was a very poorly done review, gushing with praise but devoid of detail. I haven't a clue as to whether this is the type of book I might enjoy reading since I have no idea what it's about. The "Harriet Klausner" comparison may be a bit cruel, but not far off in this case.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I agree.

Please give us some clues about the book.

Patrick said...

I really liked both Neverwhere and Anansi Boys, but I enjoyed the darker tone of American Gods. And Fragile Things was a very good read as well...

Sandman is likely Gaiman's "signature work," but as far as novels are concerned, American Gods probably takes the cake.

Rob: It's a sad world we live in if we can no longer agree on books!:p

Klausner, me!?! Yikes, that's a bit scary!;-) As for the lack of details, I seldom put a whole lot of them in my book reviews. Regarding American Gods, I felt that they were more or less unnecessary for a book that will soon be 7 years old. Judging by the mixed reactions this review has been getting, to some it's considered a mistake, while others don't dwell on it.

I will certainly keep that in mind for future reviews, though.:-)

Maurice said...

I think you got the feel of the book very well, but I only really understood it because I'd read the book.

And thanks for being open minded, even though I wasn't expecting anyone getting banned or denounced for their opinions like other places :P

Matt said...

I've noticed, Pat, that you don't lay out the plot or anything - that's not what bugged me. Just mention someone/thing specific to really get those of your readers who are on the fence about a book to get the hell out and read it! Though, in this case, I see your point about the book being out for quite awhile. It's just something that struck me as weird, maybe it's because I'm an English teacher...shrug.

Ana said...

I just got this book, and am dying to read it. Neil Gaiman is one of my Gods of Writing - his Sandman series are the epitome of everyting that is good in literature. I will be reading this and posting my own review shortly.

Loved the blog by the way.