April 2019 — Neil Gaiman

Yvonne recently read “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman. She is new to the Neil Gaiman phenomenon expressing in interest after listening to a couple of his books in the car. Bronwyn has been encouraging Yvonne to read books published in this century instead of some of her old, and somewhat outdated, favorites. Gaiman, and Christopher Moore, are not a terrible place to start.

If you do not know much about “American Gods”, now a series on pay-wall television (STARZ), focuses on the epic journey of Shadow through the American landscape — backroads and backwoods. Gaiman made a similar version of this journey himself (short a few travelling companions such as Odin, a leprechaun and a zombie wife). Shadow, experiencing a tremendous internal conflict, is a sympathetic character both in the book and the television series. I (Bronwyn) love watching how producers envision writer’s works — so instead of being disappointed that a visual representation isn’t close enough to the writer’s original form, I enjoy and appreciate creative license. I often wonder what a writer/producer/director will do with the concept just around the corner in the original work.

And what fun this book/show is. If you don’t know your deity constructs, you will be challenged and captivated. Anansi is one of my favorites, while Yvonne loves Odin and Ibis, among others. It is a rich creation worthy of some time.

Yvonne says

Yvonne’s thoughts on American Gods: the book offers superficial fun with deeper stuff underneath giving a fresh look. It’s a different perspective on stereotypes. She said that this book is encouraging her to research the Old Ones that she does not know as well in a deeper way.

For more information, here is Neil’s blog about this book.  Here is a list of  Yvonne’s recommendations that she encourages reading with the courses and on your own.