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American Gods

Mouse

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Shadow isn't a very intelligent character though, so he does get led a lot, he is passive a lot of the time, but that's kinda the point. Maybe you'd like the American Gods novella, Brian? It's in one of the anthologies (Fragile Things or Smoke and Mirrors).
 

Brian G Turner

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Shadow isn't a very intelligent character though, so he does get led a lot, he is passive a lot of the time, but that's kinda the point.

He isn't written as dumb, though - he's a character who can read Herodotus, memorise quotes from it, and then consider the meanings of these.

Neil Gaiman just doesn't consider Shadow an important character. That's why he has no depth, no emotional conflict, and the story happens at him.

Personally, that just didn't satisfy myself as a reader. If it's laying claim to being post-modernist literature I'm not convinced it delivered.

Anyway, just my personal opinion, though.
 

The Judge

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Strange. I didn't go a bundle on American Gods but the character of Shadow was one thing that never worried me (unlike the plot and the fantasy equivalent of handwavium whenever he wrote himself into a corner, and the sheer self-indulgence of some of it -- I've also got the "author's cut" and I think his original editor was in the right). It's several years since I read the book, but isn't the point that Shadow isn't really here, somehow, like there's a piece of him missing -- hence the name? (I can't recall if the name is glossed as arising for another reason, but that, to me, was the real idea.)
 

pickle

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re-read this after being unable to finish it first time around. Oddly enough i was able to read this quite quickly though i did skim some of it.

It took 320 pages before i cared for the story and another 100 before i got into it, during the last hundred i felt cheated at the lack of any battle.

It felt like a book crammed with details and very short on a good story. This was my first Gaiman and i doubt i will be back for anymore, a very disappointing book.
 

Christopher Lee

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I've been reading about Neil Gaimen for some time now but have not read anything of his. I picked up American Gods this afternoon on a 3 for 2 offer at Waterstones. Very much looking forward to this.
Ha that's funny. I just picked up AG at Books-a-Million at a 3 for 2 sale. ;). The other two were Neverwhere and Good Omens.
 

jermychriston

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Very well deserved Nebula winner... Though in 2002, its still my favourite. Gaiman has always been writing stuff to challenge our curiosity to reach to the end... I am reading the part when Shadow meets Mr. Wednesday when flying for the funeral. It funny how the story reaches there. But I'm dying to read more...
 

Westie

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One wet, windy day I had to accompany my ex-wife and our daughter with her friend on a trip up north. Not being the best traveller in the world, I downloaded a shedload of books for my iphone - and I started with American Gods.

I must say that I couldn't put it down, and when Mr Wednesday is revealed as the god that he is, my brain turned round and said "I knew it...", but then again hindsight is a brilliant thing.

This book was my starting point for Gaiman, and I went on to read three more during that trip.
 

Camorra

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This was my first (and so far only) Gaiman book, but it certainly wonät be my last. I absolutely loved this book, and would recommend it to everyone who is interested in reading good books.

I've gotta say that my favorite parts were the ones when Shadow was just plain Mike Ainsel, living the small town life.
 

Silver Owl

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This was my first (and so far only) Gaiman book, but it certainly wonät be my last. I absolutely loved this book, and would recommend it to everyone who is interested in reading good books.

I've gotta say that my favorite parts were the ones when Shadow was just plain Mike Ainsel, living the small town life.
I read this recently as well and I also found the small town in the middle of nowhere subplot to be one of the strongest parts!

If you haven't read Neverwhere I'd recommend that next! It's about half the size of American Gods but just as enjoyable.
 

Null_Zone

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He isn't written as dumb, though - he's a character who can read Herodotus, memorise quotes from it, and then consider the meanings of these.

Neil Gaiman just doesn't consider Shadow an important character. That's why he has no depth, no emotional conflict, and the story happens at him.

Personally, that just didn't satisfy myself as a reader. If it's laying claim to being post-modernist literature I'm not convinced it delivered.

Anyway, just my personal opinion, though.
My impression of Shadow (though it has been a while since I read the book so might get people mixed up) is that he is someone who has learnt to avoid attention in prison. He might be smarter than X, but X+Y are smarter, he might be stronger than A but B+friends will do nasty things later. He has learnt to not stand out, don't make waves but know when to contribute.
 

Jo Zebedee

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I think Gaiman is a marmite. I doubt many lovers of epic, or rich-descriptive work, will love his style. On the pared-down side of the gamut, though, I really like him. He gives me room to populate the characters (and confidence to see it's ok to be pared down) and to appreciate the light touches of beauty.

I'fe just read Ocean at the end of the lane (which doesn't do fleshed out at all and is refreshingly clean and beautiful) and Neverwhere which was good, but not as unforgettable. Moving onto American Gods next.

It doesn't surprise me at all that Mouse loves him so, my pared-down, beautifully simple and clear, writing-sis. :D
 

Mouse

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Neil Gaiman gives me writing envy so bad. (I've still not read Ocean, I'm putting it next on my list - Neverwhere's my fave, and you're saying it's better than that!).
 

Camorra

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I read this recently as well and I also found the small town in the middle of nowhere subplot to be one of the strongest parts!

If you haven't read Neverwhere I'd recommend that next! It's about half the size of American Gods but just as enjoyable.
Well I'm planning on reading both Neverwhere and Ocean quite soon, I have to get the books first. I'm really looking forward to both of them.
 

Glisterspeck

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I'm reading Ocean now. Springs, what do you mean by marmite? Are you talking about the Australian sandwich stuff? You mentioned the word in another recent post, I think, or else I've read this one twice.
 

alchemist

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Strange. I didn't go a bundle on American Gods but the character of Shadow was one thing that never worried me (unlike the plot and the fantasy equivalent of handwavium whenever he wrote himself into a corner, and the sheer self-indulgence of some of it -- I've also got the "author's cut" and I think his original editor was in the right). It's several years since I read the book, but isn't the point that Shadow isn't really here, somehow, like there's a piece of him missing -- hence the name? (I can't recall if the name is glossed as arising for another reason, but that, to me, was the real idea.)
Indeed, as Laura says, he isn't really living. His passivity is explained and makes sense in the story. Problem is, a main character drifting through the whole book didn't really make an interesting read, for me. The book was mostly a travelogue, and while full of interesting ideas, didn't come together as a proper story. And the style he used in Shadow's POV started to grate after a while, all the repeated words and short sentences.

I'm sure I'll try Gaiman again, but it'll be a while.
 

TWErvin2

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I thought American Gods was okay (actually, I listened to the audiobook, while doing a lot of driving over the summer). It was the first Gaiman book I picked up and gave a try. I can't say that the narration was bad, and detracted. That was top quality. The story just seemed to wander a bit, like Shadow, the main character.

It wasn't bad, more like 3.25 stars for me, if I crudely rate it that way.
 

BAYLOR

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It will be interesting see it as a tv series. :)
 

TWErvin2

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It will be interesting see it as a tv series. :)
I am curious. It might be very very good, if they try to stay true to the story. I think straying will potentially detract greatly, and annoy those what enjoyed in book form.
 
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