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American Gods: C+ January 5, 2006

Posted by AkumAPRIME in : Books , trackback

Neil Gaiman invoked the name of Roger Zelazny in his For section. Why he did this, I can only speculate. But by doing this, he staked a claim. He stated that his book, would live up to the name of the great Zelazny, and it just didn’t. His characters weren’t as full, his story not as complex or opaque. That’s not to say it wasn’t a decent book.

If Tiger Woods called a hole in one, then no matter how amazing a drive he has, if he doesn’t get that hole in one, he fails. Don’t name your son Winner, and don’t invoke the name of great people before you do something. It just invites you to stand in their shadow.

I will give you one passage I felt was particularly good:
” I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen – I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is ging to come back and kick everyone’s ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink in the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve in to madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the comon cold like the Martians in War f the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last centry were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that Jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind’s destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck, I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasn’t done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too. I beliveve in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to life, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happenes when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.” She stopped, out of breath.

If Neil Gaiman hadn’t invoked the name of a Giant, I would have given it a B-. But because it was a little slow, the characters a little obvious… There was one plot twist I didn’t see coming but… it just wasn’t enough. I won’t be reading his sequel.


1. Max - January 6, 2006

damn. that is an amazing quote. I agree with pretty much every single thing she said, except for the aliens. did you transcribe that whole thing? thanks if you did. It was well worth it for me. :)

2. Grandma Margie - January 13, 2006

VERY interesting!