“Gaiman has a rich imagination…and an ability to tackle large themes”



I have to admit that before I launched the For Reading Addicts Facebook Page, I hadn’t really heard of Neil Gaiman, but you all said such wonderful things about him. Then, there was the speech earlier this year about libraries, and I was entranced and determined to read something of this man’s works. After a little scout for opinions from the Reading Addicts, my first ever Neil Gaiman book bought, the Author’s Preferred Text of American Gods, a hefty read and I admit to not having the faintest idea of what it was about.

The first chapter certainly kept me wanting to read, but my habit of not reading the blurb meant that when the book took a fantasy twist I wasn’t really sure where it would go next. I’m not sure anyone could have predicted the twists and turns this complicated novel threw up and anyone who has tried their hand at writing couldn’t fail to be impressed with the way Gaiman dealt with the themes.

The version I read was 12,000 words longer than the first released book, the one that won all the awards, and it is lengthy in places. You’re taken off onto several tangents, that although interesting, don’t really have much sway towards the book’s final destination. I can’t say for how the original book reads, and I’m certainly not complaining, a good book is never long enough after all. What I will say, is many of the historical meanderings got me searching things on Google, and I did in fact find nothing in American Gods that couldn’t be backed up in fact, legend or folklore. The research for this book is impeccable and if nothing else you would have to give Brit Gaiman credit for tackling this tale, set in the Americas.

The Gods, well we all worship and we all pay homage, even if in more modern times our Gods have become less obvious. As a person who makes a conscious decision not to sacrifice hours of my time, and my family, to the television – a god herself according to Gaiman – I found the book struck some interesting chords with my own philosophy for life.

Overall, this was a wonderful book and I cannot wait to read more of Gaiman’s adventures. The Author’s Preferred text also included a novella, American Gods – The Monarch of the Glen that I also devoured and I still hadn’t had enough of Shadow.


Reviewed by:

Kath Cross

Added 2nd July 2015

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Kath Cross