Tuesday, April 14, 2009

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Neil Gaiman's American God's: mythical creatures, yay!

Tropical autumn—or an approximation of it

I didn't understand my friends' fascination towards Neil Gaiman until I read American Gods.

The novel combines the essential elements of fact and fiction, reality and mythology, modernity and antiquity.

Here, Gaiman masterfully plays with words, creating a story that is both easy and difficult to grasp. Easy because good storytellers get their stories across. Difficult because the nature of the story is complex and exhilarating.

I probably didn't enjoy it as much as I could have because of my limited knowledge about Norse mythology. But while that may be helpful—the background, I mean—it is not a prerequisite in appreciating the story.

Neil Gaiman sounds like a common man telling a story to his friends, keeping his descriptions simple yet poignant. What has probably made Gaiman a hit is that he is able to combine—or intersperse—magic with typical fictional reality.

I also like how he includes otherwise miscellaneous details—like a man opening his fly and peeing on a tree trunk. They add a new dimension to the novel, creating a deep impression about a character, and helping the reader actually see what's happening.

I had a great time, and I'm looking forward to reading more of him.

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