Litkicks Message Board Archive

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Posted to What Are You Reading?

I'm about half through it and I find it very disappointing. I'd found its premises pretty appealing: a paradigmatic and surreal battle between the old gods brought to America by immigrants (Odin, Kali and al.) and the new gods of postmodernity (Highway, Television, Internet...), told with Neil Gaiman's distinctive dark yet wonderful, Tim Burton style voice. But it didn't meet my expectations. The beginnings are fine and the novel has some rewards - the House on the Rock part is sheer wonder, and Shadow's dreams and encounters with his dead wife are really unsettling. But on the overall... It's so dull! There's no other way to describe it. A bland road novel where nothing wants to happen, longish descriptions of everyday items and actions, an emotionally shallow main character... As a tourist's guide of "how to survive on American countryside roads" it may be okay but as a novel, I have doubts. Gaiman's writing is very direct and reads smoothly, but tells nothing; it just mirrors the boredom of such travels. I loved *Neverwhere* and enjoyed *Good Omens* quite much, but this one leaves me bored. Well, I'm going to finish it anyway, maybe it gets better in the second half?