Friday, January 9, 2009
The celebration of people for who they are (Books - American Gods by Neil Gaiman)
The final 100 pages of Neil Gaiman's American Gods didn't mine any new territory but, having stuck with it, the novel delivered in the end. Shadow, the lead character in American Gods is a memorable creation and Gaiman has a rich imagination, especially given the fact that, he gave himself nearly all of Eastern and Western civilizations deities as characters. My earlier reservations about the novel stand (you can read those posts here and here) and I still don't really know why the several interludes were necessary, but American Gods was an intricately plotted and entertaining saga. Gaiman makes a point of peopling his American epic with people of many races, a choice that felt natural and appropriate. And this is the second story of Gaiman's I have read that includes gay characters, where sexuality is an aspect of their characterization but it has little to do with sex. If Gaiman seems to have a broader theme running through all of his work (that I know so far) it is the growth of people toward who they are and the celebration of that once they get there.