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Victoria Reads Books

Global citizen, adventurer, ponderer. Lover of coffee, books, and the Oxford comma. Infected by wanderlust, enchanted by stories. Might occasionally be a photo blog.

Currently reading

Jane Austen
Progress: 230/412 pages
Le Petit Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Eight Great Comedies
Sylvan Barnet, Morton Berman, William Burton
The Longman Anthology of Short Fiction, Compact Edition: Stories and Authors in Context
Dana Gioia, R.S. Gwynn
Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy, Louise Maude, Aylmer Maude, E.B. Greenswood
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Thinking holistically about American Gods , a few words come to mind: weird man-eating vagina????? , deep, resonating, and... wow. This book was actually really, really, good.

This isn't a book that I would be able to quickly summarize competently- any attempt of mine to do so would result in something sounding like a hokey adult Percy Jackson book (which it most certainly is not). Hence, I will leave that to the multitude of excellent reviewers also on this page. ;)

The main weakness of the book, in my opinion, is the pacing. The first two-thirds of the book are quite slow, although not without purpose and not unbearably so. The characters that the protagonist, Shadow, encounters- or even those that are mentioned in their own side stories but never encounter him- are fascinating and vibrant. In particular, in the one story about the man sent to America to sell useless things, I felt quite emotional, which is really a testament to Gaiman's skilful writing This book does have spots of humour as well- for instance, Sam's massive rant about things that she believes in was hilarious. Things definitely picked up in the last third of the book, where the reader is sent tumbling with the twists, turns, and revelations.

This is a book that I can definitely reread in the future. I am, admittedly, a huge fan of Neil Gaiman as a person and as a writer, and I look forward to reading more of his work.

Entertainment value: 4/5
Writing quality/style: 5/5
Readability: 3.5/5 (5 being the most difficult to read)
Characters (depth/development): 4/5
Plot: 5/5

A few favourite quotes:

"A town isn't a town unless it's got a bookstore, it may call itself a town, but unless it's got a bookstore, it knows it's not fooling a soul."

"It doesn't matter that you didn't believe in us. We believed in you."

"I think I would rather be a man than a god. We don't need anyone to believe in us. We just keep going anyhow. It's what we do."