Friday, November 7, 2014

American Gods


Life is supposed to get better for Shadow. He is getting out of prison soon. He will return to his loving wife, Laura. His best friend even has a job waiting for him. For a guy getting out of prison, circumstances couldn't get any better. That is until one day when they let him out early. His wife and best friend just died in a car accident. Now the love of his life is gone and the prospect of employment is dead too. And if things couldn't get any worse, a mysterious, one eyed older gentleman won't leave Shadow alone on the flight home. The old man's name is Wednesday and he really wants Shadow to work for him.

The gods used to have it good. There were plenty of people to spread the worship and love around to keep them all strong. Well, maybe not always. As it tends to happen, people die and sometimes there is no one left to remember a god. Gods can die and fade away when there is no one left to remember them. When the New World was discovered, many of the old gods followed their people to new lands. But the new world was not a good place for old gods. New lives mean old things can be left behind. And now the old gods are scraping by like most of humanity.

The new gods have taken their place in the world. No, not the god of the Christians, Jews, Muslims, or what have you. That god was born in the old world. These new American Gods are Media, The Technical Boy (god of the internet and technology), etc. All a god needs to be born is belief and worship. And the New gods are powerful. They are also being let to destroy the old gods.

With little left to live for, Shadow agrees to work for Wednesday as a bodyguard/assistant. Wednesday is an old con many who is trying to recruit the old gods to go to war against the new gods. And their survival may just depend on Wednesday's success. Prolific writer Neil Gaiman brings us this world of gods living among us. A world where things are really not all they seem to be. It's a dark tale that weaves across the United States and every new scene leaves you with some answers and more questions. Some of the Gods are familiar and a few are strange. Well, they are all strange. And when the mystery of Wednesday's real identity is revealed, it does little to solve the mystery of the new god, Mr. World, and what is really being the on coming storm of war.

This is the first novel by Neil Gaiman I have read. I know, what is wrong with me? I've been more familiar with his comics and recently his writing for television. But this is a good book. It gets a little weird at times. Like when a goddess needs to... feed. Those who have read this book know what I am talking about. So I would definitely say this book is more meant for grown up crowd due to some mature themes. But it is great story. There is even a pilot in development for a possible TV series for the Starz network.

It's a heavy story, but it is still interesting and entertaining. Neil Gaiman is truly a great writer.

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