Title: American Gods
Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy
Author: Neil Gaiman
Shadow gets out of prison early when his wife is killed in a car crash. At a loss, he takes up with a mysterious character called Wednesday, who is much more than he appears.
In fact, Wednesday is an old god, once known as Odin the All-father, who is roaming America rounding up his forgotten fellows in preparation for an epic battle against the upstart deities of the Internet, credit cards, television, and all that is wired. Shadow agrees to help Wednesday, and they whirl through a psycho-spiritual storm that becomes all too real in its manifestations. For instance, Shadow's dead wife Laura keeps showing up, and not just as a ghost.
Armed only with some coin tricks and a sense of purpose, Shadow travels through, around, and underneath the visible surface of things, digging up all the powerful myths Americans brought with them in their journeys to this land as well as the ones that were already here. "This is a bad land for Gods," says Shadow.
Because of the sheer length of this book (456 pages of actual story), it took me two days to read it--three if you count the day where I didn't read it at all. However, don't let the length of it put you off--this was an amazing read! I love that Gaiman plucked bits and pieces from so many different pantheons and cultures and made it believable.
Shadow is a man who made mistakes, understood that he was wrong, and accepts the consequences for his actions; he's also a man who knows when to question and when to keep silent. One of the twists of the book, I figured out about halfway through, long before Gaiman actually revealed it, but compared to the big, underlying twist...that was small potatoes.
The characters are varied and remarkable. I am truly in awe of this man's ability to tell a story. If you haven't read it yet, I completely recommend that you do.
Rating: 5 Stars