Neil Gaiman is a god. American Gods is a well-written story following Shadow, the bridge/medium between the old gods (Asian, African, Native American and European gods) and the new gods (gods representing the internet, capitalism and media) who are enemies – the latter believing that there’s no place for the old gods anymore. And there’s the recurring thought that America isn’t a good place for the old gods, reminding you of the Old World vs. New World theme.
American Gods not just fantasy but fantasy co-existing with the real. The language creates a sense of morphing, reflecting the many incarnations of the gods. Zooming in and out of the scene, out of the characters’ minds. Intertwining intricate plots set in the present and past. The ambiguity of the state of life and death. All these led to a head shake to get rid of confusion. It’s not until a few pages later that something starts to make sense and then you go, “Oh, I get it.”
I was impressed with the exploration of non-Western mythologies especially African and Native American – very refreshing – and they are as important as the Greek, Nordic and Roman myths we’re used to. You can tell that Gaiman respectfully did substantial research on the mythologies and the culture/people they belong to. He also wasn’t shy or embellished the treatment of certain groups of people in the past and it’s interesting how he related it to the main plot and myths.
I can’t wait for the sequel and TV adaptation 🙂