Thursday, November 12, 2009

Book Review: American Gods

American Gods: A NovelNeil Gaiman
Awards: Nebula & Hugo
Rating: ☆ ☆ – – –

The core idea behind this book is very cool: gods from different cultures appear on Earth in human form to have a showdown. I very much liked the way the gods-as-humans have personalities or physical characteristics that correspond to their deity attributes. It is particularly fun when we meet Egyptian gods like Osiris and Anubis. The main character is Odin; he is aggressive and warlike and obnoxious, but also quite charismatic.

The trouble for me was that the plot didn't live up to the creativity of the initial idea. As I got bored with the story line, the god-as-human premise started to appear less clever and more gimmicky. It reminded me a little of a Saturday Night Live skit where the original idea was good but they just work it to death.

If you want a better book about gods who appear in human form to create trouble, I would recommend Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light instead.

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