Sunday, February 26, 2017

REVIEW: American Gods

American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman

I listened to the digital audiobook version of the 10th Anniversary edition of this book. At first, I really doubted I would listen to the entire book. A 20-hour audiobook just seemed a bit excessive. A book would have to be outstanding for me to spend almost an entire day listening to it. But, the production value was superior, and I was engrossed in the story almost immediately.

Those who enjoy Gaiman's lighter writing such as The Graveyard Book and Stardust might not like this darker and much more involved tale. This book is not light reading. It's truly a commitment, but well worth the time. The story of Shadow, recently released from prison, accepting a job from the enigmatic stranger, Mr. Wednesday, is the backbone of this book. Many legends and tales of both ancient and new gods are intertwined around the main story. It makes for an awesomely complex, involved plot. American Gods is not just one story, but a combination of many.

The audiobook is great! With a full cast of voice actors, the production value is excellent. I think I enjoyed the story more as an audiobook than I would have reading the massive paperback. For the 10th Anniversary edition Gaiman added and tweaked the story a bit....I'm not sure exactly how this version differs from earlier editions, but if it's Gaiman's favorite version that's good enough for me.

It took me a little over a week to finish listening to this book. I loved it! There was a twist at the end that I didn't see coming. It brought the story full-circle. Great ending!

HBO is going to do a series based on American Gods. I hope that they do justice to Gaiman's book and don't change it substantially or add in ridiculously excessive nudity. Not that I have a problem with nudity -- there will be some required to tell this tale correctly. But, it should be used to further the plot, not just to show tits and ass.

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