3 years ago
I actually read American Gods because of the television series. I'd taken it into my head that American Gods was a combination of No Country for Old Men and The Gunslinger. I have no idea why I felt this way, but something about the book made me think "western." Weird, isn't it, what ideas we get into our heads?
But I definitely wanted to read the source material before I watched the Starz adaptation, so here we are. And I ended up liking it a lot, although I also found it flawed. That's basically my relationship with Gaiman in any case, except for The Graveyard Book, which is entirely perfect and anyone who says otherwise needs to be ready to fight (JK, of course!).
I have a similar fraught relationship with religion. I also don't know what to call myself. I don't believe in the notion of one true God, who consigns all non-believers to hell, because that is just far too opportunistic for me to buy - it would be simply way too convenient for the one true God to be precisely the God of the religious tradition into which the believer was born. The doctrine of chances and logic defy that reality. I also cannot accept the notion that an omnipotent and all powerful god spends his/her days being jealous of a bunch of humans worshiping the "wrong" way, because jealousy is a human failing, and it is implausible to me that a true God would have human failings. Human beings have created God in their image, with their weaknesses, in an effort to maintain and increase their own personal worldly power. Which is why in my later years, I am ambivalent on the subject of god, but anti-denominational on the subject of religion.
I can, however, make room for the idea of a power that is greater than that which my mind can comprehend, since my human mind is clearly limited. So, I reject the idea that human beings can shove God into their little religious boxes to benefit themselves and their tribe, but accept that my mind is insufficient to understand the mysteries of the universe. I don't know what to call that.
3 years ago
I think it's also interest to reflect that Gaiman himself says that the original publication trimming and edits were probably for the best, so the balance between the two versions to me is particularly of interest.
I'm definitely noticing more flaws in his writing, in particular his love of excessive commas and additional sentence clauses and fragments. But I love the overall flow of the book. Going in knowing exactly where it's going, and seeing all the pieces is still enjoyable as the story unfolds.
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