All Shadow wanted to do upon his early release from prison was get home to his beloved wife and start his new life working for his best buddy. He didn’t plan for their untimely demise (with bestie's peen in wifey’s mouth, no less) in a gruesome automobile accident. Broke and alone, Shadow accepts a job offer from a mysterious, elderly stranger known as Mr. Wednesday. And then the tale begins.
Gak! I don’t even know where to start with this. I’ve had much success with Gaiman’s work in the past (so much so he’s made it to my pretty limited list of “Favorite Authors”), but I admit to actively avoiding this one for years – mainly due to the fact that just the idea of 652 pages makes my brain bleed unless I’m in the right mood. But then the library dangled free crap in front of me and added this to its recommendation list of books that might “Push Your Shelf” so I bit the bullet.
And what did I find? Well, for a good chunk of time I was reminded a bit of one of my old faves . . . .
After meeting Shadow and Wednesday, a road trip of epic proportions commenced which introduced a bevy of additional characters into the mix. Characters such as a six-and-a-half foot tall leprechaun, a talking raven who refused to say “nevermore,” three strange sisters as well as a pretty decent checkers player who got his kicks betting on the right to bash his opponent's brains out, pagans unfamiliar with the goddess Ēostre, Lucille Ball talking through the television set, bus riders and a hitchhiker, a very Andy Taylor type of constable and one dead wife who just couldn’t seem to go away. American Gods became reminiscent of Seinfeld in the way that it seemed like nothing was really happening, aside from the fact that the reader continually was receiving reminders that . . . .
Or something like that.
I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to let go and enjoy this story, mainly because I didn’t vibe with Shadow right away due to his proclivity for coin tricks which had me picturing . . . .
Blech. I was also a tad apprehensive that I wouldn’t be able to stop comparing American Gods to one of my blasphemous favorites, and since this wasn’t happening on the Starz television program . . . .
My husband wasn’t interested in tuning in on my behalf and telling me whether or not this puppy squisher would be worth my time.
Since I read it in roughly 24 hours, I’d say it was a winner. Now I’m not going to go out on a limb and say this is a book for everyone because it most definitely isn’t. I’m not lying when I say nearly the entire book is all about the build-up as you follow that one main player . . . .
But Gaiman’s words are smooth as butter and he once again works his magic weaving an oh-so-elaborate spider web of characters. That’s how it earns 4 Stars.
I can’t say I’ll be reading the second in this series anytime in the near future, but I have a feeling Norse Mythology will happen sooner rather than later for one simple fact . . . .
Book #4 in the “Push Your Shelf” challenge. Thanks library for making me get off my ass and finally open this one!