Book Review: American Gods

American Gods
By Neil Gaiman

This turned out to be more of an obligatory read than an enjoyable one. Many people in Library Land love them some Neil Gaiman. Dang do they love him! As for myself, I'm not particularly impressed with my first taste. I might have picked the wrong book of his. Of course, I'd give Gaiman another shot, but for me this book was choppy, unspectacular and even boring sometimes. The end of the book was like the last 20 seconds of a tied college hoops game - an eternity. I don't mean to say I hated, because I didn't, but it was just not my cup of tea. That's my two cents as it appears on the internet.

I realize I was probably not quite smart enough for this book. Most of the folklore behind the characters were foreign to me, except a couple. There were too many characters and the main ones were dull. The Egyptians in the funeral parlor were my favorite, though. I learned a lot and looked a lot of stuff up, because that's how I roll. In the end, I didn't think they wove into a cool plot.

The book jumped around and didn't engage me, but rather pacified me. Maybe even distracted me. I'm not super sweet with metaphors and a couple reviews on Goodreads made it seem like if you didn't like it, you just didn't "get it" and see it on some significant philosophical level. Listen, reading Nietzsche in college made me realize that I don't want to feel like reading someone's work is a trick and you're ALWAYS supposed to be reading it some secret way. That is some bullshit. Sometimes I just want a good story without intellectual baggage.

Something that struck me immediately about this book was how much it reminded me of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, which I did not finish. I continued reading American Gods because the build up was intriguing and the story was one that I was not used to reading. Unfortunately, much like the Dark Tower series, the great build up ended as "meh, some other stuff happened until the book ended." I think that's why I don't go for the dark, paranormal, horror stuff too often. It seems like too much unimaginative, nightmarish streams of consciousness that end in ways that don't speak to me. I think that's a little too harsh to apply to American Gods, but I do hope my next Gaiman read is a bit better than this one.

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