Gaiman's American Gods

Paul Andinach pandinac at
Wed Oct 10 04:04:09 EDT 2001

On Wed, 10 Oct 2001, christian nutt wrote:


> i don't know if you were a sandman reader, but the book felt rather
> transparently recycled and thrown together from a lot of its
> elements.

I was (am?) a Sandman reader, and I never got that.

> as i think i said in another post, i also felt like he basically
> lifted richard mayhew from douglas adam's hitchhiker's guide's
> arthur dent, and sent him to play in the london sewers. 

I think this objection is, perhaps counter-intuitively, a sign that
you're not as perspicacious as you think you are.

Certainly Richard Mayhew is not the first Everyman hero to be thrown
into adventure in a world whose existence he'd never suspected; but
then, neither is Arthur Dent. People have been writing similar stories
for centuries: it's the differences that matter, not the similarities.

With that in mind, I'll point out that there's at least one important
difference between Arthur Dent and Richard Mayhew.
Richard does things, where Arthur merely has things done to him. 

"Hold fast to the one noble thing."

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