American Gods / Anansi Boys

Recently Read: American Gods & Anansi Boys

Author: Neil Gaiman

Genre: Fiction/ Fantasy

Note: I will be reviewing series as one post. I think reviewing individual novels overlooks the author’s intent and ignores the connection and flow of the entire story throughout the series.

This novel has a cult following almost so big as to be referred to as a popular culture movement. I have put off reading it for a while now for no reason other than hype always makes me a little nervous. (What is wrong with me if I don’t like it? Will my friends still like me?? – Not really, but there is something about hyped novels that makes me delay. Fear of conforming to popular culture and waking realising I am another in a sea of sameness? – Maybe.) At long last, with the help of some high-pressure homework assignments, I took these books off my shelf, blew off the dust and bias, and began to read. And, as is my curse, I loved it! I am one of them now. Neil Gaiman really does have this mastery of storytelling that sets him apart as a writer. He will be remembered for generations to come. You heard it here first, this guy will go places.

Why did I love these books? What is it exactly that sets Gaiman apart? I have pondered this for a while. I could not pinpoint it for a few days. Then, as the sun refused to rise on my drive into work and my mind began to drift, it hit me. I love these books (and Gaiman books, in general) because they are so much more than they seem on the surface. The plot line is always a painfully ordinary individual caught up in this magical world so close to reality you see it seeping into your world out of the corner of your eye. The details are important in Gaiman’s storytelling. Through the details, he shapes the story that will save you from the mundane and ordinary by exposing you to the great, dangerous, and wonderful. Never do I finish a Gaiman novel as the same person or reader I was prior to opening the novel. I am transformed and see the world as a less serious place with much more serious adventures because the details stay with you. They follow you around and become a part of your everyday.

Isn’t that why we read?

-A Bookish Girl


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