American Gods review

american-godsGiven my preference for dark and twisted fiction and just about anything involving Norse gods, it comes as a bit of a shock that I have come so late to American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  I loved the premise that the plethora of immigrants to this land brought their gods and superstitions with them, and that even after their belief had faded the incarnated gods and folk tale characters remained, albeit in obscurity.  New gods take their places in the hearts of the people, but the carousel continues to turn and they lose their 15 minutes of devotion, too.  America has no native gods, and the infinite influx of immigrants has overpopulated the American pantheon.  The approaching storm that is foreshadowed throughout the book is an American Ragnarok, as the old guard assembled by Wednesday and his emissary Shadow contend against Mr. World’s new regime for supremacy.  Gaiman takes this premise as broad as the continent itself and runs rampant with it, introducing a panoply of gods and minor deities that sent even this mythology lover looking up references.  A wild romp of travel up and down the country that visits every tourist attraction and roadside motel along the way, proving that not even the quaint, All-American town of Lakeside is not what it seems on the surface.  Like the coin tricks that the ex-con Shadow employs to keep his hands busy, Gaiman displays some impressive sleight-of-hand with this tall tale!


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