american gods

title: American Gods

author: Neil Gaiman

genre: Fiction, mythology, war

suggested by: David V., Phil S., and Nick H.

dates read: December 3rd – December 5th

review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

summary: Days before Shadow Moon is going to be released from prison after three years, he finds that his wife has died in a car accident.  As a result he is released early.  On his way back home, he meets a man who goes by the name Wednesday.  Wednesday works at convincing Shadow to work for him, and finally Shadow concedes.  He is sucked into the war between the old gods and the modern gods of technology.  The old gods are fading out as those who worship them dwindle.

personal thoughts: First of all, I have to warn any of you considering this as a read that might be sensitive: there is a lot of profanity and some graphic sex scenes.  You’ve been warned.  Anyway, on to the review.  Another original idea by Mr. Gaiman.  I really liked Shadow and the motley crew he works with and meets.  With a somewhat ambiguous ending, I was able to come up with my own “happily ever after,” which suited me just fine.  Some of the above mentioned scenes made me uncomfortable since a majority of them were read while I was at work (not like I was reading out loud or anything, but I think you know what I mean).  But the humanity of the gods was so interesting and their many flaws made for a more dynamic story.

favorite quotes:
“Shadow thought there was a lot to be said for bottling up emotions.  If you did it long enough and deep enough, he suspected, pretty soon you wouldn’t feel anything at all.” p. 57

“‘The quickest way is sometimes the longest.'” p. 123

“Death had vanished from the streets of America, thought Shadow;  now it happened in hospital rooms and in ambulances.  We must not startle the living, thought Shadow.” p. 222

“‘There’s never been a true war that wasn’t fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right.  The really dangerous people believe that they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do.  And that is what makes them dangerous.'” p. 233

“Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world.” p. 508