American Gods: Your Guide to the Machinations of Divinities Both Malignant and Ridiculous

27 April, 2017 Reviews 3 comments

American Gods: Your Guide to the Machinations of Divinities Both Malignant and RidiculousAmerican Gods, Anansi Boys, The Monarch of the Glen, Black Dog by Neil Gaiman
Published by William Morrow Books on 13th October 2009 — 3rd February 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy
Format: e-Book, eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository
Goodreads
four-half-stars

A storm is coming.

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined — it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing — an epic war for the very soul of America — and that he is standing squarely in its path.

***

God is dead. Meet the kids.

Fat Charlie Nancy’s normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn’t know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother. Now brother Spider is on his doorstep — about to make Fat Charlie’s life more interesting... and a lot more dangerous.

 

Welcome, folks, to another review-as-guide that nobody asked for. As before, I’ll be giving you a complete look at a well-known series (or ‘collection of loosely related stories,’ as it were) as a lead-in to an impending television adaption, which I also hope to cover once it premiers. I promise that this one will not be nearly as long as my last was, partially because I have much less to cover, and largely because I don’t want to pour so much time into something so pointlessly involved again.

 

Nobody feels like reading that much prattle, anyway, so it’s a win-win for everyone, no?

 

This time, we’ll be looking at Neil Gaiman’s American Gods franchise, which is currently made up of two novels and a pair of short stories. Really, all of these parts can work as standalone pieces, and the Starz series set to premier at the end of the month is only confirmed to cover the original book, so perhaps this is largely superfluous. No matter. We like to be thorough here at Cuddlebuggery, and it’s always better to be over-prepared than under-. Think of how impressed your friends will be!

 

So, for the sake of having plenty of witty and well-informed things to say at parties, let’s get started.

***

AMERICAN GODS

An Original Fable of Wanderlust Among Divinities Multifarious

★★★★☆

 

“The land is vast. Soon enough, our people abandoned us, remembered us only as creatures of the old land, as things that had not come with them to the new. Our true believers passed on, or stopped believing, and we were left, lost and scared and dispossessed, to get by on what little smidgens of worship or belief we could find. And to get by as best we could.”

 

I’ll start by pointing you towards my co-blogger Kat’s review of this one, because it’s very astute, and may be much faster at helping you decide if you want to read this or not:

 

“A man was swallowed by a woman’s vagina, so my mom wrote me a note, and now I don’t have to review this book anymore.”

 

So, yes, a man is swallowed by a woman’s vagina. It happens in the first chapter, too. So… there’s that. Thankfully, I’d consider it the weirdest part of the entire book. Which isn’t to say that there isn’t plenty of other weird things going on here — it’s just that they’re more of your typical fantasy stock and not of the ‘man consumed by genitals’ variety. If you can make it through that, you should be good to go.

 

(And it totally makes sense in context, I swear.)

 

Anyway, American Gods is the story of Shadow Moon, who we find about to be released from prison. Just as he’s set to leave, he learns that his wife Laura has died (temporarily — there’s magic flitting about), and so his dream of living out a quiet life with his love is promptly nipped in the bud and left to rot. During his trip home, he meets and — with nothing left to lose — partners with one Mr. Wednesday: a con man with a job offer to act as his right-hand man as he pursues a particularly tricky operation.

 

He is, you see, a god. As it turns out, just about every possible bit of mythology that was ever worshiped throughout time — from the grandest of deities to the smallest of creatures — actually does exist in the world, having been created and sustained by the belief and prayer of people. Traveling where their disciples most congregate, the bulk of them have made their home in America, being the hodgepodge of immigrants it is. Nowadays, however, the old gods of myth have fallen by the wayside as the world’s cultures have moved on, and now they’re left to scrounge for whatever form of living they can. In the meantime, new gods — of technology, the media, freeways, and cars — have risen to power, and they want their predecessors out. Wednesday hopes to rally the collection of has-beens to stand up to the usurpers once and for all, but doing so will prove rather difficult.

 

“At least we’ve got a little belief to be going along with. Most of the suckers out there have barely got that. It’s like the funeral business — the big guys are going to buy you up one day, like it or not, because they’re bigger and more efficient and because they work. Fighting’s not going to change a damned thing, because we lost this particular battle when we came to this green land a hundred years ago or a thousand or ten thousand. We arrived and America just didn’t care that we’d arrived. So we get bought out, or we press on, or we hit the road. So, yes. You’re right. The storm’s coming.”

 

It’s a great, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink premise, and one that would be done the most justice in a proper series of the Song and Ice and Fire variety: with multiple installments, a large cast of characters, multiple points of view, and too many plots and too much backstory to keep track of. Think of the possibilities! Think of how many storylines and interactions you could milk from a world where leprechauns can rub shoulders with Odin. Every one of the thousands of religions and legends and folktales that mankind has ever dreamed of since the dawn of time could be explored, past and present, and then even further expanded upon with clever new concepts of what a ‘modern’ deity would be.

 

That, of course, is not what we got. We got a standalone book of a few hundred pages, and most of it is from the limited perspective of Shadow. It’s sort of a shame, but only if you start demanding from American Gods what it did not offer in the first place. The potential is there, of course, but Gaiman did not want to tell that sort of story, so he didn’t.

 

Instead, he told a traveling yarn. Most of the novel is a road trip that strings together scenes via new geography: stop at a city, meet a god or two, leave. Rinse and repeat. Sprinkled throughout are occasional segments from other points of view: Some are from secondary characters who are entwined in the narrative somehow and so are given the spotlight briefly to move it along in their own way. Others are one-off shorts (entitled ‘Coming to America’ or ‘Somewhere in America,‘ depending on the time period) that have nothing to do with Shadow, but give us a glimpse into the lives of extraneous gods — how they arrived in America, and possibly what they’re up to now. One, for instance, is a summary overview of a primitive tribe millions of years dead that brought its animal god to the new world, while another is a more detailed account of a chance encounter with the supernatural in a New York taxi.

 

It’s far from comprehensive, but I think that the strategy works. Keeping the story more modest in its scope makes for an easier-to-follow and more tightly plotted experience, and it reinforces the protagonist’s own restricted understanding of events well. It reminds me of Mockingjay‘s approach to wrapping up the Hunger Games trilogy: a theoretically big, sprawling epic that doesn’t so much throw open the door to a new world as much as it lets you (and the lead) peek through the keyhole at what lies beyond. The scattering of side stories helps dig into the premise a bit more, and the ‘on-the-road’ format in general gives us a lot of (physical and metaphorical) ground to cover. The pacing feels disjointed at times as a result, literally jumping from scene to scene as it does, but this being a story about all of America and every god known and (now) unknown to man, it’s mostly justified.

 

“Now, as all of you will have had reason aplenty to discover for yourselves, there are new gods growing in America, clinging to growing knots of belief: gods of credit-card and freeway, of internet and telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and of beeper and of neon. Proud gods, fat and foolish creatures, puffed up with their own newness and importance.”

 

Still,  I do wish that we had learned more of the new gods. Media in particular is such a fun character, but the emphasis remains firmly with the ancients 95% of the time. We only get a few scenes with some of the new kids in the middle and a vague description of others near the end, and their various powers are only hinted at or inferred. Hopefully, the show will give us more; I’d love to see what the gods of social media and paparazzi are like, and I am absolutely here for Gillian Anderson getting as much screen time as is possible to dress up like pop culture icons while making a mess of things.

 

Anyway, whether or not the book lives up to its premise beyond these limitations depends on how much you like Shadow. I’ve seen him criticized for various reasons, all of them fair: he’s very passive, very mild, and very much pushed around for most of the plot. I like him a lot, though, and that is because:

 

  1. He’s a nice break from the usual male lead, who tends to spend most of his time being angry at things, making snarky comments, thinking about and/or having sex, punching, or doing some combination of the four simultaneously.
  2. I identify with him a great deal.

 

Perhaps I just have a soft spot for the ‘big, intimidating man who’s actually a bit of a softie’ archetype. (Okay, I do.) Or perhaps I’d like to think that his kind of personality isn’t a ‘bad’ one, and that I can feel better about myself as a result. In either case, I enjoy his quiet willingness to simply go where events take him, to keep his feelings carefully contained and internalized. Rather than consistently lashing out and making brash decisions because he’s convinced that he knows better than everyone else, Shadow is just… quiet. The calm in a storm, if you will; and there’s something comfortable in that.

 

“I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen — I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women.”

 

He’s also routinely meeting interesting new people every chapter or two, so there’s plenty of support when he seems unable to hold the story up on his own.

 

Laura is a wonderfully sad and complex character (and she’s to be played by the lovely Emily Browning, whom I adore, so there’s bias on my part). Wednesday is a conundrum, but an entertaining one. Czernobog and Mr. Nancy are routinely very funny. Easter is lovely (Kristin Chenoweth is going to kill the role). Mad Sweeney provides plenty of color. The Technical Boy is mildly uncomfortable and an oddity to watch, which I think may be the point. Media is fascinating, and I am, as I’ve said, so eager to see her role expanded (and played by the indelible Gillian Anderson) on screen.

 

The more fleeting deities — Bilquis, Mr. Ibis and Jacquel, Bast, the Zorya sisters, Horus, Mr. World — all contribute flavor and some nice, strange moments in their own way; and while the human cast is naturally not as exciting, they fill out the rest of the world as a necessary complement and contrast — particularly Sam, who is sarcastic and witty and hilarious, and I wish that she had shown up more.

 

(Though I’m confused by what the point of Bilquis’ scenes were, as she had several of them, and none of her plot seemed to have much impact on anything else, aside from possibly being the source of the bizarre actions of the Technical Boy during the brief truce at the motel. Did she curse him? Possess him? I’m really not sure. He doesn’t end up doing much, either, so perhaps it’s all moot. At least she gave us that great ‘eaten-by-vagina’ moment.)

 

I look forward to seeing how all of them are added to in the adaptation, though my hope is that the focus mostly remains with the immortals in the bunch. Sam is the exception, though. She’s great.

 

None of this can actually be happening. If it makes you more comfortable, you could simply think of it as metaphor. Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert…

 

The story is also consistently strong, despite the aforementioned disjointedness that comes from such clearly deliberate divisioning between events. There’s a bit of a lull in the middle: Shadow is left in a small town for a time, where the lack of supernatural shenanigans and focus on day-to-day living drags things down. Thankfully, the break doesn’t last long, and it does give us an interesting set of subplots and mysteries that are nicely brought back to wrap things up at the end, so it isn’t a waste by any means.

 

(Looking back, there’s also quite a few trippy dream sequences and sex scenes throughout. I wouldn’t normally point those out, but I can only imagine the field day that Bryan Fuller and Starz are going to have with those, respectively.)

 

As for the big ‘war of the gods,’ how effectively the showdown is portrayed depends on what the build-up leads you to expect. If you’re hoping for a big, world-ending battle, you’ll be disappointed, as the most climactic bits all happen just before the confrontation during a journey of self-discovery for Shadow. This leads to a rather quick reveal and resolution to everything before the excitement can break out in earnest, which means all of the good stuff — getting to meet more gods and monsters, seeing them interact — is limited to a few preemptive portions from some temporary PoVs.

 

Since I really wasn’t sure what the book was about in the first place, and because I enjoyed the protagonist as much as I did, I didn’t mind the outcome. In fact, I think it may be the strongest part of the novel, and it most importantly makes sense within its context. If you’re paying attention to the themes Gaiman is playing with and the points that many of the characters are making up to that point, it’s almost inevitable, really. It’s also clean, tidy, doesn’t linger too long on any one development, and calls back and/or explains many earlier scenes and mysteries without feeling forced or pulled from-gods-know-where. It manages to carry a lot more emotional weight than I was expecting, too, and some of the final moments (especially the conclusion of Laura’s not-quite-dead arc) are surprisingly touching.

 

People believe, thought Shadow. It’s what people do. They believe. And then they will not take responsibility for their beliefs; they conjure things, and do not trust the conjurations.

 

Lastly, let’s talk about the writing. Sometimes, I think that I appreciate Gaiman’s ideas more than his actual execution of them, and that’s at least partially because his writing is a bit iffy for me. It can be very good at times — contemplative and rather lovely without being gaudy — but also very plain in spots: ‘Shadow went into his room. He brushed his teeth. He sat on his bed. He went to sleep.’ The simplicity mostly works when it’s used, because it tends to emphasize the mood or the action of a scene with its stark contrast to the usual poeticism (the equivalent of a film scene abruptly throwing itself into complete silence between dramatic orchestral pieces), but it borders on the clinical at times. Occasionally, it just feels as though you’re reading a no-nonsense factual report instead of a fantasy about living gods. Congratulations, you’ve looked up a log report of 1974 weather patterns when you thought you were reading escapist fiction. Or a medical examination describing how the pituitary gland works. Surprise, sucker.

 

A Summary…

There’s a lot more to explore in American Gods, and I hope that we get the chance to someday. With a new show that promises to dig into the premise further and a potential sequel somewhere down the line (is that still happening?), things are looking promising.

 

But taken on its own, this is a good book. It’s a small(ish) story told in a big setting, which is a fun change of pace from the ‘you the reader knows everything that is happening all the time because the writer needs to cover every little thing’ format. It’s occasionally funny, routinely dramatic, and the likeability of the cast sort of sneaks up on you; I spent most of the story enjoying the characters just fine, but it wasn’t until the end that I realized that I was going to miss them. Be sure to look for the ’10th anniversary’ edition if you do pick it up, as it includes additional material and some edits to provide a ‘definitive’ version of the text.

 

And so, while I’ve yet to really click with Gaiman as much as I imagine I could, this is definitely a step in the right direction. He’s long been an author who, in theory, I should love, as his concepts are always right up my alley. And while I get the ardor other readers shower upon him, I’ve never been able to reach that stage myself. I’m not sure it it will ever happen, but I’m definitely more keen to read his bibliography now than I was before I picked this book up.

 

That counts as praise, right?

***

ANANSI BOYS

An Extraneous Adventure of Jest and Assorted Tomfoolery

★★★★☆

 

Now, probably you know some Anansi stories. Probably there’s no one in the whole wide world doesn’t know some Anansi stories. Anansi was a spider, when the world was young, and all the stories were being told for the first time. He used to get himself into trouble, and he used to get himself out of trouble.

 

The immediate comparison that occurred to me while reading Anansi Boys is as follows:

 

If American Gods is the intensely serious, culturally bombastic event of a television series that runs for a full sixty-plus minutes of elaborate plotting and iconic sequences every week, Anansi Boys is the wacky, half-hour comedy spin-off that’s likeable enough, but not truly memorable beyond that one scene that made you laugh a little. Imagine, if you will, if Joey had been an offshoot of Breaking Bad. Somehow. Maybe Joey started selling meth after Rachel and Ross got married? How does Better Call Saul fit into this? What is it even about? Rachel and Ross got married in Friends, right? I’ve never actually seen any of these shows.

 

Okay, this is a bad analogy. Let’s move along.

 

That poorly thought-out metaphor makes it sound as though this isn’t a particularly good book — or, at least, that it isn’t when compared to the original story. It is, though. It’s just simpler, lighter fare, and it does not have quite so much an impact as a result. I enjoyed it just as much as I did American Gods, I think, albeit for different reasons.

 

“You’re no help,” he told the lime. This was unfair. It was only a lime; there was nothing special about it at all. It was doing the best it could.

 

For one thing, it’s much funnier. Gaiman lets his wit — limited mostly to the occasional wry observation from Shadow or Wednesday in the original novel — breathe here, and it works really well with the wackier plotting. I laughed several times, and the snarky dialogue and dry humor of the narration play off of one another in a manner that makes both more hilarious than either would have been alone.

 

It’s also more lively from a writing standpoint. Gaiman in general seems looser with this book, more willing to indulge not only in jokes, but also in fancier descriptions and wordier observations. It’s a nice contrast to the more frequently matter-of-fact, spartan style of Gods.

 

Impossible things happen. When they do happen, most people just deal with it. Today, like every day, roughly five thousand people on the face of the planet will experience on-chance-in-a-million things, and not one of them will refuse to believe the evidence of their senses.

 

And whereas its parent was a big fantasy epic about the clash of pantheons and the very fate of the world (sort of), Anansi Boys is mostly an intimate family drama. Jumping from one story to the other is like watching an ABC soap after binging an HBO thriller. Granted, the end of the world is again a plot point, but it’s mostly a minor detail this time.

 

A psuedo-sequel that also operates just fine on its own as a standalone spin-off, you can read it without knowing anything about the first book, though I think that having done so adds a nice background understanding to it all. Taking place after American Gods, it follows Mr. Nancy’s shenanigans after the war. Sort of. He dies at the beginning, you see.

 

(Being a god, though, ensures that he isn’t quite as dead as one normally would be.)

 

As a rule, Fat Charlie felt embarrassment in his teeth, and in the upper pit of his stomach. If something that even looked like it might be embarrassing was about to happen on his television screen, Fat Charlie would leap up and turn it off. If that was not possible, say if other people were present, he would leave the room on some pretext and wait until the moment of embarrassment was sure to be over.

 

Mostly, the narrative focuses on Fat Charlie Nancy. Estranged from his ridiculous father and his embarassing tendencies, Fat Charlie lives comfortably enough in London. He is engaged to a kindly woman named Rosie, he works a safe job at a financial management company, and just about any form of attention or excitement tends to stress him out.

 

I identify deeply with Fat Charlie. Gaiman is very good at writing relatable leads, it seems.

 

That nice little life is picked up, examined with mild interest, and then briskly tossed out of the symbolic window once Mr. Nancy dies, because Charlie’s return visit to his Florida hometown leads to him discovering that he has a brother. Said brother is named Spider (yeah), and he is very cool.

 

Women were fun, and decorative, and terrific accessories, but there would always be more of them; like bowls of goulash coming along a conveyor belt, when you were done with one, you simply picked up the next, and spooned in your sour cream.

 

He also has supernatural abilities, very little concern for personal responsibilities, and a desire to reconnect with his long-lost sibling. (There’s also the sexism thing, so that’s great.) Things go south from there, and the ensuing mess involves hot tubs, flamingos, ghosts, and embezzlement, among other things.

 

It’s an inconsequential jaunt, lacking the emotional heft of Gods, but it’s a lot of fun, and that’s more than enough to compensate. I finished it with a smile on my face, and that’s about all I could ask for. It was also a much faster read despite the comparable length, which was a nice bonus.

 

A Summary…

So, while it isn’t a vital contribution to the American Gods mythos or story (the only real connections are the larger shared world and the fact that Nancy shows up as a minor character in both), Anansi Boys is an entertaining complement to the two and mines their untapped storytelling depths a bit more. I wouldn’t at all mind additional books like it, which is not something that I usually say about spin-offs. Let the good times continue to roll, I say.

 

(But, really, leave your original work alone, writers. Endlessly adding to it is eventually going to tarnish the magic somehow and turn it into a dead horse.)

 

(Yes, this is mainly directed at J. K. Rowling. I’m still bitter over The Cursed Child.)

***

SHORT STORIES OF EXTENDED EPILOGUE

Some Bright and Shining Pieces Left

Last (and probably least) are two accompanying novellas that, like Anansi Boys, work quite well as both standalone tales and tie-ins to their source. Each is around 100 pages and follows Shadow during his assorted misadventures in Europe after his traipse with the divine. Trying to escape the nonsense of the gods, as it turns out, isn’t quite so easy as leaving the country — while many of them have made the west their home, there are plenty that still eke out a living in the old world.

 

Both are easy to get through and enjoyable enough. Again, nothing vital to the timeline of American Gods or its conclusion, but it’s nice to catch up with Shadow and see that nothing much has changed with him. He’s still getting swayed into dubious deals with obviously shady old men and having prophetic dreams, since nothing in the heavens can apparently resist throwing cryptic warnings and pleas at him.

 

(And let’s speculate on the matter of adaptation: Will the series end with the source material, or will we get an episode or two with these tales? Perhaps a follow-up miniseries? A web-exclusive short?)

 

The Monarch of the Glen

★★★★☆

 

This fight was old, Shadow thought, older than even Mr. Alice knew, and he was thinking that even as the creature’s talons raked his chest. It was the fight of man against monster, and it was old as time…

 

Originally published in the Legends II collection, and now available in Gaiman’s own Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders.

 

Taking place two years after the war (as it were), Shadow is staying in Scotland, traveling as a vagabond with no sense of direction or plan. After striking up (rather, being forced into) a conversation with a man calling him a monster, he is offered a job (oh boy) as a security guard for an exclusive annual event happening at an old manor nearby. The pay is good, and there is a promise of an easy, uneventful weekend; guess which of those two assertions isn’t accurate. Naturally, Shadow’s new employers have rather different plans for their hire.

 

It’s a surprisingly complete story, emotionally and dramatically, for such a short work. Despite the familiar elements of it (what with Shadow again being a pawn in a larger scheme of the supernatural, striking up a relationship with a more-than-human woman who helps him, and being propositioned to help spooky entities in his sleep), the plot isn’t quite so predictable as it seems to be at the start. Granted, I say that as somebody unfamiliar with Scottish folklore, so the more knowledgeable of you may have some guesses from the onset. Suffice to say that it involves the Beowulf legend and some vikings, and I’ll leave it at that.

 

There are also some nice tie-ins to Gods that give a tad more closure to certain plots, so that’s to be appreciated. If nothing else, it will make you feel like a more devoted fan. (This is where that ‘looking cool at parties’ bit I mentioned comes in.)

 

Black Dog

★★★★☆

 

“We are now walking down Shuck’s Lane. The locals say that on a clear night, which tonight certainly is not, you can find yourself followed by Black Shuck. He’s sort of a fairy dog.”

“We’ve never seen him, not even on clear nights,” said Oliver.

“Which is a very good thing,” said Moira. “Because if you see him — you die.”

 

Published in Gaiman’s Trigger Warning.

 

Taking place a year after Monarch in the East Midlands of England, Shadow is visiting a pub when he strikes up a friendly rapport with a local couple, who offer to house him for the night in the midst of a storm. On the walk home, the husband sees a black dog locally believed to portend your death and collapses.

 

From there, the plot (notably shorter than the previous one) gets rather dark, touching upon ideas of self-harm and infidelity. Shadow meets yet another mysterious woman (only he gets to make out with her this time), a familiar face from Gods shows up, and our hero nearly dies from something supernatural — again. It’s a bit repetitive, but the more macabre elements give it a slightly different flavor that helps distinguish it from the other stories. It also seems to suggest that Shadow is preparing to return to America, so the retreading of familiar territory isn’t particularly tiresome when it’s promising something new on the horizon. Is it actually a lead-in to that potential future sequel? I hope so.

***

To Conclude…

Ultimately, if you’re looking for something to prime you for the show, I imagine that American Gods will be more than enough. The other pieces aren’t necessary to the puzzle, but they fill out the world nicely. If you like that world enough to make a return trip or two, you’ll have a good time. If you don’t, well, you may still want to try Anansi Boys, if only because of how different it is.

Let’s close this out. I believe that I’ve mostly summarized everything in their respective sections, so I’ll use these last moments to preemptively rep a show that hasn’t aired yet. Because I’m excited, and I hate to see unique programming not get its due shot. We get another two dozen crime/cop/hospital/medical dramas every damn year, and they get to go on for what feels like twelve seasons. I’m tired of it, folks. I don’t care about rookie officers/doctors who don’t play by the rules, who spend every week spouting nonsensical lingo and hooking up with other thin, conventionally attractive white people while ‘How to Save a Life’ plays in the background. Give me the creative stuff that isn’t afraid to try something new.

And even if you hated the book, you should give Starz a chance anyway. If nothing else, you’re guaranteed something well-acted and beautifully shot. I mentioned that Gillian Anderson is in it, yes? Kristin Chenoweth? Emily Browning? Do it for the cast. Do it for a series that looks to finally have a bit of diversity and imagination. Or just do it for me — I’m weary of Bryan Fuller’s work always being unceremoniously canceled; I still cannot believe that Pushing Daisies only got two seasons. He’s only asking for three this time around, but knowing his luck, he’ll still get the axe before even that can happen.

Don’t let that come to pass. I may cry if it does, and then we’ll all be uncomfortable.

So tune in next week for the start of a new and exciting weekly thing: a good ol’ summary and review of each episode of the show as it airs. I’ll keep them sort-of short, I promise.

Monteverdi
A reader who doesn't pick up his books nearly as often as he should, but who would like to offer the occasional review when he can nonetheless. Find me on Goodreads here.
Monteverdi
Anyway, our justice system is (surprise) a complete joke. Millennials: you need to get out there and vote next mont… https://t.co/QFsTLxTghB - 2 weeks ago

3 Responses to “American Gods: Your Guide to the Machinations of Divinities Both Malignant and Ridiculous”

  1. Erin
    Twitter:

    This sounds like the sort of thing I just want the spoilers on (like Laura being temporarily dead and her secrets), but not actually to read. I just can’t read Gaiman.

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