American GodsBook |
A dazzlingly inventive road trip through an America riddled with old gods, new deities, kitschy roadside attractions, and improbably charming small towns.
Start with a brilliant premise--that old gods, brought over to America by believers from hundreds of cultures, lead forlorn and forgotten lives as truck drivers, butchers, and prostitutes. Add a compellingly inscrutable main character--a quiet parolee named Shadow who finds himself accompanying a mad old man and his coterie of colorful associates on a road trip through the middle of a convincingly quirk-laden continental U.S. Then mix in a burgeoning war between ancient, out-of-work gods and the successful contemporary deities of credit cards, media, and technology--and you've got a whopper of a good story, one that combines black humor, kitschy Americana, fantasy, horror, and noir to dazzling effect. When Shadow reluctantly accepts a job from a grizzled, one-eyed grifter with frightening powers (think Norse Pantheon), he finds himself caught in the middle of a war he doesn't understand, between players he's not sure he cares about, taking place in a country he has no grasp of. Neil Gaiman's real accomplishment, though, is that throughout this baffled quest, he somehow manages to makes his character's journey our own.