by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman skillfully draws on several mythological traditions in an almost playful manner. There are many who will enjoy picking out the in-jokes and subtleties of traditional mythology, but there is more to enjoy here than just that. American Gods, at first, gave me the impression of a sprawling, undisciplined series of unrelated encounters, with plenty of tangents and dead ends. But as I continued to read, I began to feel some threads being tightend. Tangents became curves; seemingly unrelated events were really interconnected and complex. Gaiman, like the scheming Wednesday, proves to be a master at misdirection. He resolves conflicts before you're actually aware that they exist (only in resolving them do you actually become aware of their importance). The pieces do end up slipping into place with ease, and Gaiman gets away with it, because it all rings true. There is, perhaps, a few strands that got away from him a bit, but nothing major. Well, there is one major event that is forshadowed for most of the novel, only to be glossed over in the end but I think that is just another example of Gaiman's inventive misdirection.
Once again, Gaiman has crafted an entertaining, dark yet easy-to-read novel, but this time, there is additional depth to the story, and it works well. The more I read Gaiman, the more he impresses me. I look forward to reading his earlier work, as well as any new stuff that comes along.
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Further Discussion: Is Shadow a god? If so, was he always a god, or did he become a god during the course of the novel?
Who was the god that Shadow kept forgetting?
Was the climactic battle satisfying? Was it even the climactic battle?
Why don't the gods just leave America?
Recommended:Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
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