There is something to be said about a good trailer and what it does for a movie or a TV show. I watched the trailer for “American Gods” before I even knew what this book was, I was immediately hooked and obsessed. Some of my favorite actors were showing up in the trailer. I knew right then and there that I needed to read this book.
I went to my local bookstore and found the book hiding on a shelf barely noticeable. Then I realized that Gaiman is also the author of “Stardust” and a whole mess of other books. I decided to get both “Stardust” and “American Gods.” I got home and read the inside sleeve and found out that the copy of AG that I bought was the 10 anniversary copy of the book. It said that it was the version of the book Gaiman was most proud of. With 12,000 more words than there were in the original printing, I was hyped up to read this book.
The book follows a man named Shadow. He is released from prison following the death of his wife and not long after being released comes to find work with a mysterious man named Wednesday. Shadow is plunged into a world he does not understand and begins to see a different part of the America he though he knew and meeting people he didn’t know existed. This all culminates in a large battle between the old and new gods and who will reign supreme in America and our hero Shadow somehow manages to find himself in the middle of a battle he feels he has no business in.
I absolutely love the book. It was beautifully written and the introduction of the different gods and showing how they came to American is not only a fascinating concept, but Gaiman is able to creatively and beautifully show you how the gods came to be in America. He does this, not by showing you when the gods got to American, but rather when their followers and believers came to America. It was in the hearts of their followers that their beliefs and practices made their way to a new land and the gods followed where their people calls.
I made it half way through the book before I realized that this would be one of my favorite books ever. The characters are flawed and real, yet at the same time fantastic fantasy. The brutal honesty that some of the gods share about their followers inspires the reader to really think about where their time is being sacrificed. There is the goddess of TV, Media, and her introduction made me laugh after reading her say they sacrifice “their time, mostly… sometimes each other.” That line alone strikes someone, especially after coming off of a 13-hour binge session of Luke Cage.
Anyway, I highly recommend you get this book and read it now. The tv show is not bad either.