This is one of those books that I’d always meant to read, and then just never found my way to it. Last Spring, I finally put that behind me. I’m glad I did.
I’ll start by telling you that I’m not a huge fan of the fantasy genre, although I’m a huge fan of Americana and pop culture when it’s used in a novel ways. Since the book is a best seller and sixteen years old at the time of this review, let’s just acknowledge that the Americana and pop culture novelty more than drove the plot of the book.
The end felt a bit…telegraphed to me, but that’s always the problem with these types of books. The author is pigeonholed in some ways by the story structure. In the battle of good versus evil (or new versus old gods), somebody has to win and not everyone is going to play fair. So: I was not entirely shocked, or satisfied, by the end.
Let’s get to down to brass tacks: Who really cares? I knew going in the ending would probably feel stilted at best, but everything else along the way was a great ride. I couldn’t wait to have the story unfold, and I found most of the main characters interesting enough to want to follow along. (And for someone like me who doesn’t like the genre, I’d say that’s pretty good.)
I am anxious to see how this giant, sprawling story gets adapted for film and television. There’s enough material for a long mini-series, for sure. Until then: If you like a sprawling (but not Game of Thrones level of obtuse details), story, American Gods will do you right.