I’ve had American Gods in my Books backlog for some time now, but now I’m on a bit of a book / audiobook kick1 I finally got around to listening to it.
The preface to the book, read by Neil Gaiman, stated that most people tend to love it or hate it. I’ve got to say I found myself in neither camp. I’ve read a lot of Stephen King recently, so I’m both used to, and happy with, a lot of detail and expansive descriptions. This book, however, was wonderfully detailed, but ultimately the story didn’t really go anywhere until the last chapter or two. By the end I could have happily listened to more, but the journey to get there was a bit laborious. I’d be interested in a follow up book, but I definitely don’t think I’d read this one again and I would be hesitant to recommend it to many.I found this interesting image from a Verge article
The world and character building was incredible and the characters themselves were interesting and diverse, I just wish the story itself had more substance. The premise of old Gods, from various pantheons throughout history, being brought to America by various cultures over the years and, essentially, making a life for themselves after they are forgotten was very interesting to me and it somewhat pays off.
There’s something of a twist near the end of the book, but there’s no real fanfare to the revelation, it just sort of happens. No build up and no real groundbreaking changes of pace or circumstance really comes from it afterwards.
I was both happy to get to the end of the book so I could read something else, but also sad that I had to leave that world behind, knowing there is nothing else in that world to continue my journey with.
I’ve never written a review of a book beyond a short sentence or two on GoodReads, and after reading this you’ll probably see why. I do usually know very clearly if I like a book or not after reading it. That was not the case here. I liked it enough to write a review of it, however, so that’s got to be worth something, right?
Have you read American Gods? What did you think about it? I’d love to hear other people’s opinions on it.
- Thanks, in a large part, to the dire state of many tech podcasts at the moment. ↩