American Gods

By Neil Gaiman

Oh dear… Someone has been reading Frazer’s Golden Bough again, And where Wrede and Stevermer’s The Grand Tour is fun with dark edges, American Gods is weirdness with leaden edges.

It’s the kind of book you open, and then suddenly find that you’ve read sixty, maybe a hundred pages without the text leaving much of an impression. Fluent wordwooze, was my impression. And then it starts to get seriously weird and complicated.

Not to mention philosophical, but you need to bring a lot more than rehashed nineteenth century scholarly superstitions to faze me (fortunately the book has a happy ending, even if the bit just before the ending is just as unsatisfying as the ending to Cryptonomicon.) But I’m not impressed by a comparison between a television and an altar. That’s been done before, on Dutch television, too, or so I am told, not having one of the machines myself.

But in the end, a well-constructed story with some very interesting people in it — it’s just that I wish that these books would have an ending that was as good as the middle.