1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Flawed, but wonderful,
This review is from: American Gods (Paperback)
American Gods gets off to a slow start. For the first fifty pages or so, I came close to abandoning it because nothing interesting seemed to happen and I was having a hard time getting involved with the characters and their predicaments. I found the Russian Gods particularly dreary and annoying.
But I stuck with it, and I was really glad I did because suddenly, the story comes alive; somewhere about the time Shadow's dead wife appears, the story suddenly wakes up and everything starts to make sense.
I loved the concept. I loved poor, broken Shadow, but the tales of the old Gods - how they came to America - were frequently irritating. They interrupted the flow of the (ever more fascinating) main plot. Sometimes they had a charm of their own, often they were just boring. I understand why they were there but they didn't work as well as they could have and just served to slow the story and annoy. IMO, they were the weakest parts of the book.
The moral of the tale, that the new Gods of modern America will, in their turn, be supplanted and killed as the old Gods were, is a little contrived and laboured - though the portraits of the modern Gods, especially the fat kid Geek-Boy, are some of the highlights of the book.
The main story - Shadow's story - grew ever more compelling (I especially loved his time in the small, friendly, ice-bound town) and by the end, when he discovers the hideous truth about sweet old Mr Hinzelmann, and who he (Shadow) really is, I was completely hooked; I just wanted the story to go on and on.
To summarise: a great idea, nicely done for the most part and the excellence of the writing and the wonderful characterisations more than made up for occasional weaknesses.