American Gods, By Neil Gaiman
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2006, 01:17 PM
I just finished one of the most strange books I’ve ever read. And not the kind of strange that bends your mind around and puts you in imposable situations that can never be real. However, it is an extremely impossible story that bends your mind around in ways that are just scary enough to be real.
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, was a trip. You follow the path of a character named Shadow as he is drug through a world that is both filled of paradoxes. The places in this book are real, but a lot of the names have been changed. For instance, the author leaves us the address for The House on the Hill, just in case you want to go see it when you are done. But in the middle of various trips that Shadow takes to towns across America, we see a snap shot of just what separates America from other nations. Even when it comes to religion, Americans prefer to call themselves “spiritual” rather than religious. The premise of this book is that gods are only as powerful as their followers make them, and Americans are really more of an independent sort of people.
I’m glad I read this book. I was faced with a number of interesting questions I would have never asked myself before, had I not picked it up. How much do I put my own trust and belief in things, how much do I take for granted, how often do I find myself thinking that it is possible for something to be the way it is, just because I happened to be raised a certain way. How many times have I allowed myself to be unwavering on things that really don’t make much difference in the long run?
A great read! I recommend it to anyone who has had any kind of exposure to multiple faiths, or has a love for the old myths and stories about various pantheons.