Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I finished American Gods tonight and I'm not quite sure what I really think about it.

An entertaining tale, creatively told, with a great premise, I felt a little underwhelmed by the end. Part of that is definitely the hype effect as I've heard so much about Neil Gaiman being this amazing writer that it was next to impossible for him to blow me away. The stakes were too high for that.

The book does suffer from a bit of self-indulgence as Gaiman throws everything he can into the 588-page...epic? Road trip? Love story? That's another part of the problem. The book is ostensibly one man's story being told against the backdrop of some rather grandiose events, but at times it feels like it's actually a patchwork of random short stories that couldn't quite stand on their own. And the ending falls somewhere between cheap bait-and-switch and outright letdown.

Getting there is fun, though, not unlike a two-week relationship full of good sex, drunken philosophizing and a clean, no-strings-attached parting of ways, self-respect still intact. I'd hesistantly recommend it for those looking for something - different? - but with a hearty caveat emptor.

I'm giving Gaiman one more shot with Endless Nights, to be followed by Morgan Llywelyn's Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish.

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