American Gods by Neil Gaiman
I know the year isn’t half over yet, but so far this is my favourite book of the year.
It’s just one of those books that seems to hit on all levels when you’re reading it and I loved it.
Shadow, who is about to be released from prison, finds out that his wife Laura has just died. Directionless and grieving, he takes a job with the mysterious Mr Wednesday.
Soon, Shadow discovers that things are definitely not as they seem, as he finds out that Wednesday is really Odin, the All-Father of Norse mythology, and war is coming.
The old gods – who travelled to America in the minds of settlers over thousands of years _ have been abandoned in the new country of America, and they’re at war with the new – technology, TV and the internet.
On one level, American Gods is a road trip through a very strange country. For Shadow, it’s mostly a welcoming one, although he doesn’t understand large parts of it.
On another level, American Gods is about the tug-of-war going on between the old and the new; as the old gods battle to keep their place in the face of the new gods of technology and consumerism. But mostly American Gods is about Shadow – its his journey that we’re on, from the moment he leaves prison right through to the end.
And a long, strange and wonderful journey it is.
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