Book Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Having served three years in prison for aggravated assault, Shadow gets out of jail a few days early when his wife dies. On his way home to the funeral, he meets a man named Wednesday, who enlists Shadow's services as bodyguard, gopher, and servant.
This is no small task, considering that Wednesday is Oden, the All-Father, a god whose had quite enough of being forgotten. Oden is a con and an egomanic whose own quest addresses a question raised early in the book: Why is it immigrants to the US so easily left behind the gods of their homeland when they arrived? What is the connection between belief and place?
These questions lead to the questions of what we call god, what we believe, and how we live what we believe as Gaiman's characters cross America in this and the underworld as well as the cultures that define and redefine it every minute of our days.
In the end beliefs consume us if we let them.
In the end, if we don't, welcome to our world.
Gaiman had me with Shadow every inch of he way. Brilliant characterization, a fantastic and wholly believable plot, and prose that countless other Kindle readers (like me) found worth highlighting and sharing come together to tell the story of America. In the end what is ordinary is extraordinarily beautiful. Because it is.