The decision to delve once again into the American Gods was only a matter of proper incentive. The premiere of the TV show seemed like a good one, and, boy, were my reading buddy and me right about rereading this one.
I’m not sure who’d read American Gods in 2013, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me. I have been taken aback by every major turn of events. The review itself is, however, in line with what I feel about the book, although I think it was too vague, so let’s list the three things I loved the most about American Gods.
1. Coercive Suspension of Disbelief
Suspension of disbelief and the type of willing suspension the author requests from me is the most important part of the book. It’s the deal breaker. Halfway through American Gods, I’ve realised that, for me, Gaiman’s quality as a writer comes firstly from the fact that I haven’t even realised that I was suspending disbelief. You simply have no choice in the matter. It comes as easy as breathing and it’s not willing – it’s compulsory. I think this is achieved by presenting the impossible as mundane, and mundane as extraordinary; snow is something to write home about – talking to your dead spouse is an afterthought.
2. Intelligent Design
Nothing in this book is accidental. Every adjective and every metaphor is carefully placed. It’s all so deliberate; far from being effortlessly beautiful. Even though I’m a big fan of effortless beauty, it is impossible not to appreciate the way Gaiman structured and planned everything to make you believe.
3. Raw Liver and Melted Vanilla Ice Cream
When Neil puts in an effort to put that beauty onto the page, he does so magnificently. The thing I really liked is the way he treats the colours. I might forget some of the characters (I already did), but I will not forget Mr Wednesday’s suit which was the colour of melted vanilla ice cream, nor will I forget the room which has walls the colour of raw liver. I’ll take the colours with me.
“He perceived the pain in colours: the red of a neon bar-sign, the green of a traffic light on a wet night, the blue of an empty video screen.”
Five to Four
However, there is something of a downside to rereading. First time around, I gave American Gods a five. This time around – it’s a four. The ending was anticlimactic this time and the Laura-Shadow relationship was not something I felt was as game-changing as it was meant to be. I needed a bit more convincing.
P.S. Still haven’t delved into the TV show. But I love the idea of Ian McShane as Wednesday. But then again, I love the idea of Ian McShane as pretty much anyone anywhere.