What if the Gods of ancient times were right under our noses? What if the American people somehow created gods that they once didn’t think they were even aware of?

Neil Gaiman, author of some of the greatest supernatural books such as “Stardust” and “Coraline,” brings out a fantastic story about finding one’s self, divinity and belief.

This week I am reviewing his novel, “American Gods.” Shadow, the main character, is an ex-convict who had served his time in prison, only to ultimately learn of his wife’s death. Shadow meets Mr. Wednesday, who offers him a job as his personal assistant. Mr. Wednesday sends Shadow to recruit other people who he learns are from mythologies all over the world such as the Indian Goddess, Kali and the African trickster, God Anansi.

Their mission is to go to war with the new gods. In Gaiman’s book, Gods are created by belief. There are many American God’s such as the T.V. God, who is an actual living being. There is also a god of credit cards and one  even one of technology, among many others. In this conflict, Shadow needs to know who his real friends are and that everyone has their own agenda.

This book takes a thoughtful look at what belief is and how human beings think so strongly about it. This story brings us back to the roots of religion and polytheistic ideas, showing that even though we may have out grown them, they have never left.

The Good: This novel had great imagery and description.  The settings and the characters are realistic, even though they come from fantasy. The villains are compelling and the action very suspenseful.

The Bad: I felt it needed more old world Gods, especially from different cultures as well, but that’s just me being a mythology junkie.


Nick Bundarin can be reached at nicholas.bundarin@ksc.keene.edu

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