Thursday, August 22, 2013

Review(ish) - American Gods






***SPOILERS ALERT***  
I guess technically there are spoilers in this post.  So, if you are one of those crazy people who hasn't read this book yet, and you don't want to know what happens, wait to read this blog post.  If, however, you just don't care, then read on!

Last night, my book club met and discussed American Gods, a book epic in its scope.  It covers a crazy trip from jail to large cities to small towns.  It covers death, ghostly visits, parole violations, and murder. 

There is no great way to summarize the plot of American Gods.  There is so much that happens in this book.  It is truly a lengthy read.  It is over 500 pages, and there is much information in those pages. 

I'll give you some of the points you should know about this book.

*At the beginning of the book, Laura, Shadow's wife, is killed in a car accident. 
*Shadow, at the end of a three year jail sentence, gets released from jail a day earlier than planned because of Laura's death.
*Shadow meets Wednesday almost immediately after getting released from prison.  Wednesday propositions Shadow with work.  Repeatedly.  After all, he's the only one who would want to hire a felon, right?
*Shadow gets in a bar fight with Mad Sweeney.  This is to prove something.  You'll find out what when you read the book. 
*When playing chess with Czernobog, Shadow beats him in one game.  Czernobog spends the rest of the novel making not so veiled comments about how he's going to kill Shadow with a hammer.
*Despite her death, Laura is seen throughout the book.  She is a major player in some of the events that transpire. 
*Shadow has some trippy dreams in the book that have some serious outcomes in the "real world."  (One of them, which is just silly, is a dream where he can see Wednesday having intercourse with some woman.)
*There is a giant (and I mean giant) carousel that the gods and Shadow ride to get to there meeting spot when they visit the house on the rock.
*Wednesday says throughout the book that he is gathering the gods to start a war because too many people have forgotten the gods.  Let's just say, his intentions are actually less than noble. 
*There are some "new gods."  The one you meet in the car is a pimply, greasy faced young man (older teenager, really) who tries to get after Shadow for being teamed up with Wednesday. 
*Shadow gets his ass whooped by two men named Mr. Town and Mr. Road.
*Laura, in a rather confusing sequence of events, kills the two men who have taken Shadow and beaten him. 
*Shadow spends some time in a small town named Lakeville.  While there, he is told to just lay low.

I could go on and on.  Really, what you NEED to know is: there is murder, sex, robbery, intrigue, death, illusion, trickery and deceit throughout this entire novel.  Every page is littered with wonderful words that create a story you will love.  This is a book I loved from the first chapter.  If I were told that this was the only book I could read for the rest of my life, I wouldn't be disappointed.

Characters you need to remember:
*Shadow
*Wednesday
*Czernobog
*Mad Sweeney
*Laura
*Sam
*Chris (the police officer)
*Mr. Ibis
*Mr. Jaquel


These are the characters that I think are the most important to the story line.  They are the "major players" in the book.  There are so many minor characters throughout the book that to list them all would take forever.  And you'd probably get bored reading through all the names.  So, I'll not list ALL the characters.  Instead, you can keep reading to see photos of people I'd choose to play the characters were this a movie or series.

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When we were talking about this book, one of the things my book club talked about was who we would cast as the characters in this book if it were made into a movie or series.  None of us could really decide, but after I thought about it some more, here's what I came up with for (some) actor choices:


Shadow -  To play this role, I'd pick Jason Momoa.  He's cute, and he could totally pull off that bad boy vibe!  




Wednesday - Ian McKellan seems like an almost obvious choice to play the role of Wednesday.  Doesn't he seem like an Odin-type character?




Laura - I could totally picture Courteney Cox playing Laura.  She'd have to have long hair though, because Courteney just looks better with long hair.





Mad Sweeney - Ving Rhames is a man who is, to put it decently, very nicely put together.  Not only that, but he, in real life, looks intimidating.  He can pull of intimidating in movies as well.  I could totally see him playing the role of Mad Sweeney. 



Czernobog - I feel like Alexander Skarsgard would be great for the role of Czernobog.  He's got the ability to be intimidating.  He's a great actor.  And, let's face it: he's easy on the eyes. 


Mr. Jaquel - If I were to pick any actor to play the role of Mr. Jaquel, it would be Jesse L. Martin.  Not only is a phenomenal actor (and singer, as evidenced in Rent) but I truly believe that he could pull off the mellow vibe I imagine Mr. Jaquel has.



Mr. Ibis - I imagine Mr. Ibis to be another fellow who has a phenomenally mellow attitude.  He's just sort of awesome.  I think that Taye Diggs could be just the actor to play the role of Mr. Ibis and play it well.


So, I hope you enjoyed my (rambling) blog post about this book.  I also hope that this post lit in you a fire to get out and read this book immediately.  It's totally worth it!  If I were to give this book a grade, it would be an A++!


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