Re-reading American Gods

Since I’m Thinking of Ending Things was such a short book, I announced over Facebook, that we would be having an extra credit Book Club book for the month of October. At several previous book clubs, we’ve tossed around American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The problem has always been that too many of us completed it already. With a different book as the primary, however, we were able to squeeze another one in.

Three of us took up the challenge. I finished it, as did my boyfriend, one other person is still working through it. It’s a re-read for me. I did it the first time in2004 or so. I loved it then. It was handed to me by a guy I had just started dating, with those rose colored glasses, and even when they fell, I didn’t take the time to confirm my preconceptions about the books read early in the relationship.

It’s an okay book. I like the concepts more than anything else. I like the characters, or what they have the potential to be. I’m a character reader, Gods make fantastic characters, especially over many cultures and stories. It’s a road trip story in America. I love those too. I’m a sucker for getting in a car or walking or boat trips. I like the adventure stories, the self-discovery in travel, the stepping out of normal life.

But I’m not mesmerized by it. The characters aren’t as developed as I want now. Maybe I just want more these days. Maybe after reading thick tombs of character stories like The Grapes of Wrath type travel tales, my expectations are too high. Maybe it’s because I’ve read it, and even though I didn’t remember all the important parts of the book, maybe it just felt old hat. But if something can’t retain that original shine, at least to the extent you dream, it’s kind of disappointing.

I am still looking forward to the television show. I want to know what they do with the characters, how true they stay, how involved it gets.

American Gods Trailer


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