Gaiman's American Gods

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at ic.ac.uk
Thu Oct 11 05:30:43 EDT 2001


>From: Robyn Starkey <rohina at shaw.ca>
>>I just finished
>>reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and I enjoyed it immensely, and it
>>certainly seems to me to be a book to appeal to DWJ fans. 

ferricide:
>i read american gods right when it came out, maybe 2 months ago at this 
>point. i really like it. however, i would say that the neil gaiman book
that 
>would appeal most to DWJ fans might be stardust.. not that they wouldn't 
>like AG, but i think stardust is a little more "similiar" to DWJ's work in
a 
>number of ways. AG was nice because gaiman did something fairly original, 
>although if you're a fan of his other work it isn't exactly a stretch. i 
>particularly like the main character. he was very fresh and interesting and

>well-portrayed. a good book.

My tuppence worth (certainly not much more); I enjoyed Stardust (in the
text-only form) and I agree that the first part- the fairy market and the
protagonist's childhood- reminded me of DWJ's work in many ways. I think the
main part is much more archetypally fairytale-ish than her books (not
surprisingly, really!). In a way I think this is another naive hero dropped
into a world he doesn't understand- he finds his feet very rapidly, though,
and starts being more, well, heroic.

I read AG courtesy of a guy who buys hardbacks, reads them, and passes them
on to acquaintances to pass on again or give to library sales! As a
consequence I don't have it to refresh my memory. I know I thought it was
good and well written, and I enjoyed it, but it hasn't gone on my must
reread list. I'm not really sure why. I know the cover picture- a road
streching into the distance- seemed inappropriate- the book felt closed-in.
I think it also seemed flat. I'm not sure if I never got into the
protagonist's head, or his emotions were all squashed by the bad news at the
start, or just that Gaiman chose unemotional language, but it seemed to me
that he was indifferent to all the things going on around him and so was I;
I should have been saddened or grossed out or excited or relieved by parts
of the plot but I wasn't, much. Scenes have stuck in my memory, like the
gods-in-domestic-life bit, but the whole didn't seem to come to life as a
book. As I said, I did enjoy reading it; it's mostly in retrospect that I
think this.

I haven't read Neverwhere, but I thought the series was good and I mean to
read the book at some point and compare! (Was it a "miniseries"? I thought
it had the full 6 episodes.)
Jennifer
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