American Gods

“Chicago happened slowly, like a migraine. First they were driving through countryside, then, imperceptibly, the occasional town became a low suburban sprawl, and the sprawl became the city.”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

The upcoming series and the fact that I need a little brain candy has driven me into a re-read. (Plus I am a sucker for any mention of Chicago.) It’s the best book of modern fictional mythology ever. Kind of like Rick Riordan for mature audiences. I own the super beautiful version from Barnes and Noble but here is a link to the Kindle version on Amazon.

“Back in my day, we had it all set up. You lined up when you died, and you’d answer for your evil deeds and your good deeds, and if your evil deeds outweighed a feather, we’d feed your soul and your heart to Ammet, the Eater of Souls”
“He must have eaten a lot of people.”
“Not as many as you’d think. It was a really heavy feather. We had it made special. You had better be pretty damn evil to tip the scales on that baby…”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

This is the story of Shadow, who is released from jail a few days early, due to his wife’s accidental death. He meets a man named Wednesday on the way home (Odin), nd soon they are traveling the US together encountering the old and new gods. Wednesday wants to find and help the old gods who have been pushed aside as their followers have mostly died. They have been replaced by new gods of technology.

“So yeah, Jesus does pretty good over here. But I met a guy who said he saw him hitchhiking by the side of the road in Afghanistan and nobody was stopping to give him a ride. You know? It all depends on where you are.”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

“One day every soldier in the empire has to shower in the blood of your sacrificial bull. The next they don’t even remember your birthday.”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

“And then he said, “Media. I think I have heard of her. Isn’t she the one who killed her children?”
“Different woman,” said Mr. Nancy. “Same deal.”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Gaiman is never afraid of adding social commentary to his fiction. This is not an anti- religion book. It is a book for fans of mythology. Each mention was like running into an old friend.

“There are stories that are true, in which each individual’s tale is unique and tragic, and the worst of the tragedy is that we have heard it before, and we cannot allow ourselves to feel it to deeply. We build a shell around it like an oyster dealing with a painful particle of grit, coating it with smooth pearl layers in order to cope. This is how we walk and talk and function, day in, day out, immune to others’ pain and loss. If it were to touch us it would cripple us or make saints of us; but, for the most part, it does not touch us. We cannot allow it to.”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

“Power came from the rituals, not from the gods.”
Neil Gaiman, American Gods

I think that no matter what God you do or don’t believe in that real power and change still can come from the populous if only we all walk away from the media and see things as they are through clear eyes. It isn’t an academic read. I do recomend it for mature audiences due to language and some adult situations.



One thought on “American Gods

  1. feebeeglee

    You inspired me to read it too. Such a great book! What do you think of the casting so far?

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