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Marilee J. Layman

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07:25 pm: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
This was the bookgroup book this month and most of us enjoyed it. Didn't think it was fabulous, but not bad, either. I think I had more and broader knowledge of mythology than any of the others (some kept looking online) and that made the book easier for me than for them. (My mother had a book set on mythology and I was supposed to get it when she died, but my evil stepmother threw it away.)

The stated theme of the book is that gods that have come over from Europe are being forgotten, which will make them die, and new gods of technology and such will take over. There has to be a battle. But we see lies and disagreements at many levels as our protagonist, Shadow, is the Man Friday for one of the main gods. Shadow gets set up to be that assistant, and because of what's done to set him up, he does a lot of things he wouldn't have otherwise. There are some sidetrips that I thought were more relevant than the other folks did -- most of them contributed to other parts of stories -- but don't expect the book to have a solid plot.

ETA: I had the odd experience that every night I read parts that had some sort of link to things in real life. For example, look here for TNH's take on James Arthur Ray's sweatlodge event and you'll see something very similar to the book. I believe this is coincidence, which worries me a bit about the world.



[User Picture]
Date:October 18th, 2009 12:05 pm (UTC)
I might have liked American Gods better if I hadn't loved Douglas Adams' take on the same gods in his Dirk Gently novel (I think it's the first one, but I could be wrong.)
[User Picture]
Date:October 19th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
I liked it a lot. Felt a bit like an American road-trip. With mythology.

I suspect I would have liked it more had I not been familiar with his work on the Sandman comics where he explored very similar ground.
[User Picture]
Date:October 19th, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
I tried looking at the Sandman comics because everybody was so sure they were wonderful, but I just don't have the right language to understand comics.
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