I started reading American Gods almost 2 years ago while traveling for work. I ended up being robbed while on vacation shortly after, and the book bag they took had this little book tucked away in it. It wasn’t until recently that a friend bought me a new copy that I began to read it again. I was newly inspired to pick it up again when I found out they would be making a show out of it on Starz and it was headed by one of my favs, Bryan Fuller.
Needless to say, I was really pumped to get started and wrapped up in one of Gaiman’s worlds, as I have never read any of his work (I know, gasp). Unfortunately, I really can’t say I dug it much. This will be a somewhat spoiler-free review, but if you prefer to go into it completely in the dark, then do not click below.
Man, did this book take a long time to get started. And I mean….LONG. Like 75% of the way through. And even then, when I thought it was getting to the good part, it really didn’t. Remember when reading the Twilight saga (shut up, I know you did), you were waiting for the big war at the end? And then it never really happened? Yeah, this story suffers the same fate. All the characters keep stating “a storm is coming,” but it never really does. And this is infuriating after reading through a very dense and winding story.
For those of you that do not know what the book is about at all, it deals with the topic of gods: they are alive and well and dwelling among us on Earth thanks to all of us that continue to worship them. Problems begin stirring when the new gods (think technology and media) want the old gods (think Loki and Easter) good and gone. Interesting, right? One would think. And it was…just not consistently. The book would give you breadcrumbs…tiny snippets of interesting lore…and then pull away for chapters at a time. To make things worse, the main character, Shadow Moon, is so unbelievably boring and useless. I know he is supposed to be so that he can “redeem” himself at the end, but I don’t think what he did was really all that redeeming? I didn’t see that much character development even after his ultimate sacrifice and journey at the end of the book. His connection to Wednesday was also very obvious to me before the big reveal. To me, ultimately it was a very frustrating read.
Funny thing is, I still plan on watching the show when it airs on Starz because I’m very curious to see what they will do with it. I trust Fuller to deliver beautiful, weird and interesting work and based on the trailer, I think I’m right. I even listened in to the Comic Con panel, and they said they would be taking some creative licenses and spend more time with more characters, as the book focuses heavily on only a handful, if even.
So what do you think?
Did you read American Gods? Do you agree with me or think I’m way off?
Are you going to watch the show?
What should I read next?