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Not as good as I expected
on 7 September 2017
I'd been meaning to read this for some time and the arrival of a TV version on NetNowPrime/whatever prompted me to buy it at last. I had already been intrigued by the basic premise ("What happened to all the gods that previous immigrants to America brought with them then forgot?") and was looking forward to an absorbing read.
I'm sorry to say that I was to some extent disappointed. That's not to say that the book isn't well-written or well plotted, indeed there were several plot twists that took me by surprise (always a delight in my book) and the tone and language of the novel achieves the level of sheer poetry in places; however, there seemed to be too much "filler" in the convoluted road trip that occupies the majority of the story. The various takes on traditional folk tales were pleasant interludes and reminded me to some extent of Gene Wolfe, whose writing I greatly admire, but the big climax was more like a Marvel movie, all special effects and flash but, in the end, unsatisfying.
Throughout, I was also reminded of Gaiman's "Neverwhere", also a fine novel, but I was regularly frustrated that Gaiman doesn't seem to have matured from his (much) earlier breakthrough. Is it just me, or would you expect more originality of concept from a writer of greater experience and, presumably, development of technique.
It's definitely worth a read, don't mistake my review as damning, but, in my opinion, it doesn't live up to the hype and should have been so much better to merit its praise and fan following.