March 10, 2014
American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Review)
Author: Neil Gaiman
First published: 2001
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Oh, this book... I can't put off writing this review any longer, so to make it easier let's make a deal here, OK? If you love American Gods so much that you can't stand any critic, don't read what I have to say about it, and if you do read it, don't hate me afterwards, please? :) It's just that I know many people feel very protective about this particular book, so I'm a bit afraid of their rage, because yes, unfortunately, I didn't like it at all...
I had high expectations of this book, and it went fairly well in the beginning, but then weird shit started to happen, and I was thinking "Why am I doing it to myself??" all the following 450 pages. OK, maybe the ending (that revelation of what's going on, you know what I'm talking about) was also not bad, but I was already bored to death by the time I reached it. Why was it so? Let me try to explain.
The main problem for me was the overly depressing mood of the story. I felt the pressure of the despair oozing from the pages all the time, and there was no comical or other relief. Is it surprising then that my favourite character in the book is the "Fuck off" raven? I know that if the book affects me so, it means the writing is good. Well, it is good, but I didn't like what it was doing with me anyway. And don't forget the corpses! Sooo many of them... I've had enough of corpses for a year of reading.
As for the characters, well, they are another problem. Shadow is awful. He is resigned, passive and incurious, and I don't understand him at all. The gods are also rather dull. I mean, come on, they could have been really outstanding, but instead they are very meh... I realize that it's kind of ideologically fitting, because they are dying out, but still... I wanted something more exciting. Wednesday came fairly near to being exciting, but not quite.
In my book:
I didn't enjoy American Gods at all, and I would especially NOT recommend it as a rainy day reading. Seriously, it may draw you in a long-lasting depression.