American Gods by Neil Gaiman: Book Review

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Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what – and who – it finds there… -Goodreads

My Review

My Rating: 3/5

I have never been a fan of the Terry Pratchett-style, quirky fantasy, so reading anything by Gaiman was never on my to-do list. However, I watched the first season of American Gods and was impressed, so I decided to read the book.

I was pleasantly surprised. The book was written well, and by that I mean it was easy to read. The storytelling was natural, and I burned through this book faster than I do with most, even with so many pages!

Shadow isn’t a fascinating character. He never seems to want anything, and that’s frustrating. I know the book isn’t really about him (the story is, but the book isn’t) but readers need the protagonist to have some sort of desires to move the story forwards which will keep us invested. I wasn’t.

I loved the reimagining of the Gods, Goddesses, and heroic figures. This was my favourite part of the book. I can tell that Gaiman has a love of old mythology, especially Norse, so I clung to that when reading the book to keep be interested; it worked.

The ending is relatively good – it was a little surprising but I think we could see something like that coming up. The beginning is great, though, so I can see many readers being enticed by the first few chapters and then glued to the page by Gaiman’s natural writing style. The middle section (a very large section) is dull, but not pointless – the writing style is what kept me reading there.

Overall, it’s a good book, but not brilliant.

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3 comments on “American Gods by Neil Gaiman: Book Review”

  1. I have the strangest relationship with American Gods. Like you I rated it 3 Stars, but whenever I look on it in retrospect I’m quite fond of it.

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