I began reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods quite a while ago. This is not a typical book for me to read, so this post will be atypical as well. American Gods is a work of fiction, but it is not marketed to young adults. In fact, there are very few, if any, young adults that can handle a book like this one, in my opinion. It was often difficult for me, especially when considering my religious upbringing. American Gods can definitely be an uncomfortable read for those of us brought up in the Christian (or any other) faith, but the book does make one think. What or who are we really worshipping? What happens to gods when people stop adoring them? And what do we, as Americans, value more–religion or materialism?
It would take me way too long to detail the events of American Gods, so I’m not even going to try. So much happened in this book, and I’m still trying to process some of it (especially since it took me nearly a month to finish it). I will say that I enjoyed this book. Neil Gaiman is a master storyteller, and he tells a wonderfully complicated tale here. Most importantly, American Gods made me think. Yes, it made me a bit uncomfortable at times, but it did force me to examine my own beliefs and what I truly value. It’s too early to say that this book changed my life, but it definitely has helped to change how I look at certain things.
I know I usually review YA books on this blog, so let me caution my readers again that American Gods is intended for adult readers. There are some mature themes and scenes, and many teen readers will be unprepared for this. Come to think of it, most adult readers I know won’t really be prepared for some of the stuff in this book, so proceed with caution.