But I have to admit, American Gods underwhelmed. And for the last few days I’ve been trying to figure out why. When I started the novel, I had a strong sense of déja vu, and I wondered if I had forgotten having read it before. But I was almost sure that I hadn’t. Perhaps the feeling is because of other works I’ve read that were similar (Christopher Moore’s Coyote Blue and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson stories of gods fighting with each other).
It’s also possible that it’s because I simultaneously read and listened to the audio version of this book. I’ve done that with several Gaiman titles, but those were all read by the author. The audio version of American Gods was fine, but it wasn’t Gaiman’s voice, and I think I had hoped it would be.
From a technical point of view, I think I objected to the fact that it’s several stories mashed together, and I wished each story had been its own book. I didn’t like them pulled together. But that’s just me. People adore this book, and are impatiently awaiting the new television series based upon it, and Gaiman’s far more intelligent than I, so take my impression for the little that it’s worth.
So who knows why, but it just wasn’t all that I had hoped. And yet, I’m very much looking forward to reading his latest, Norse Mythology.