Friday, July 14, 2006

American Gods

The last couple days I have been reading the book American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Its a rather thick book somewhere around 500 pages, or so. I'm about halfway through it. I'm not exactly sure what it is all about, it has something to do with "forgotten gods," that is mythical gods of various peoples such as Native Americans, but also immigrant groups and the like. In the book it seems that these gods are personified. The main character, Shadow, interacts with them. There seems to be a war or verybad conflict brewing, but I'm not sure between who and over what. Hopefully that wee dilemna will be cleared up with the next 250 pages.

There is another aspect of the book that I do find quite fascinating. In Europe there are sacred places, you know, churches and cathedrals. These things have a certain religious quality to them. According to Mr. Wednesday, the other character in the book, in America holy and sacred places are roadside attractions and tourist attractions-- maybe better said "kitschy power," or something along those lines, though according Mr. Wednesday Disney World has none of this sacred power, Walt Disney Land might, but Mount Rushmore is lousy with it. So I assume a place like Graceland might be the motherload or something.

Its a good book, I suppose, but I think Mr. Gaiman is a bit wordy. I've been chugging through the book for a couple days. I'm not sure if I like it or not, and I think part of that is from the fact that I'm not sure I understand all of it. My knowledge of "gods" isn't what I would call "vast," but I shall endevour to march on through, perhaps the ending punch will all be worth it.

1 comment:

Christopher Gillespie said...

Wordy sometimes could be misinterpreted eloquence?

Gaiman is a master of character. Storyy is always secondary to character... or perhaps the two are complimentary. Regardless, the buildup to the end is done well. Enjoy.