Thursday, August 6, 2015
The Shadow knows
While my husband and I were working on my car last weekend I found myself with some downtime, filthy hands, and nothing to do. Since the garage is where my book case lives I decided to tidy up my grubby mitts and sink into an easy read while I was waiting for parts to arrive.
Long story short I ended up spending a pretty significant chunk of time reading American Gods instead of finishing my engine.
This really is a delightful book. It's a quick read but the world is so full of depth and history and mystery that it feels like you're living the same time as the characters - only a couple hours pass in real life but you end up aging yourself months every time you read this story. It's so whole, so full, that you have to pull back from your perceptions and wonder about the world anew every time you pick it up.
Shadow is such a great entry into this world. He's a perfect blank in so many ways, which means you get to look through his eyes and feel his confusion and feel at home in the story because he's the main character and he's even more lost than you are. And he's sweet. And hurt. And sad. I love reading Shadow because he takes so long to get to know but once you know him you can't help but admire and pity him. He doesn't know what's going on, he doesn't know his place in the world; he's just a shadow looking for substance.
Anyway, if you're into fantasy, mythology, contemporary American stories, or just looking for some wonder in the world American Gods is a good place to find all of those things.
Gaiman, Neil. American Gods. Harper Torch. New York: New York. 2002. (2001).