That’s what this book is. I find this book close to Alice in Wonderland in terms of the twists, turns and wacky people that one cannot even begin to imagine. With all glory to the Mad Hatter, this book is not for children.
The book starts with Shadow’s release from jail.
He goes on to become Mr. Wednesday’s handyman (without any choice though). It’s a crazy world out there, where antediluvian Gods battle against the younger, modern Gods, like the fat boy God of internet & the sexy Television goddess ‘Media’. The duo embarks on a journey to gather recruits for the oncoming battle. Shadow meets some interesting people on the way. The interplay between the Gods and Shadow is the crux of American Gods. I had expected the book to be about the actual war between Gods, but surprisingly it turned out to be Shadow’s experience with them aforementioned Gods.
Caught in the middle of the war, Shadow, our big lead guy is played like a pawn on the chessboard. Shadow steals the show with his unperturbed nature. I think it was Gaiman’s little misdirection trick to show Shadow as the pawn, when he is actually the King in the story. His rock-like calmness throughout is like the anchor to the ship in wild seas. It keeps the reader grounded, in times of complete mayhem. My favorite moment in the book was when towards the end, he accepts his choice in the underworld without any agitation.
I found it disappointing that there was not even a shred of humor in this morose novel. For me personally, the lack of humor a big no-no. I have come across countless books, where humor can be incorporated even in somber situations. I would have liked to see that in American Gods. Apart from that, an exceptional book!
American Gods is a cross between ancient mythology and modernism; an idea so eccentric it can only germinate from a mind that is skewered & zany.
Dear Neil Gaiman that’s a compliment!
Don’t question it, just go with it, once, twice or more if you have to!
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