American Gods – by Neil Gaiman

This was a good tale generated from a fascinating concept; the idea that the immigrants who came to the United States brought with them their religious beliefs and in so doing brought their gods along, too. After generations, those beliefs fade and are challenged by new cultural paradigms engendered by developing technology – technology that creates its own pseudo-gods. The old gods still exist, but without the same level of recognition as in the old days they have faded in their aspects. There is a storm brewing, pitting the old against the new.

I did enjoy this book. The author had me right with him up to the denouement of the main plot line. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a letdown. It seemed too simplistic. Almost a Rodney King “Can we all get along?” moment that was way too weak. Besides that, other sub-plotlines were tied up in a way that also felt like, “Hmmm, I have to wrap this book up and move on . . . how can I end this quickly?” Additionally, there were other sub-plotlines that seemed like they were going to go somewhere, but wound up on the road to nowhere.

If you have time to kill, I can think of worse books to kill it with, but I can certainly think of better books, too. This was my first Neil Gaiman book and it has made me wonder if it is worth reading his other books. Since my son loaned me the book, as well as another, at least it didn’t cost me anything but time. I’ll try the other book (Anansi Boys) and see where I go from there with this author.

(Finished 8/6/10)