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American Gods

American Gods back

Neil Gaiman


Page 45 Review by Alex Sarll

Initially American Gods reads like something of a SANDMAN retread - in particular BRIEF LIVES, given it's a road trip across America in search of old gods. It's far from dull, the characters are engaging and the mysteries intriguing, yet you can't help but feel to begin with that Gaiman is providing a brief summary of his theories for the benefit of those who only read Proper Books. Somewhere round halfway however, that all changes (the key scene is a masterpiece of comedy where Odin and Eostre of the Dawn meet a young 'pagan' who has no time for gods and worships the principle of female empowerment). From then on in, everything comes together, and the book really starts to work as a whole.

It's hard to explain the plot without giving too much away; suffice to say, anything that initially seems simplistic turns out not to be. One of the best touches is the little short stories dotted throughout the text, all titled 'Coming to America', which detail the arrival of old gods in the new world, counterpointing their current situation.