Sunday, April 3, 2011

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Christianity. Islam. Judaism. Buddhism. When asked about the religions of the United States, these are probably the first answers that pop into your head. But considering the vast melting pot from which this country was formed, have you ever stopped to ask yourself, "What happened to the ideologies of days gone by? What are the new ideologies of the future?" Whether by choice or force, millions of people left their native lands and travelled the Atlantic Ocean for the New World. What if the gods of those lands came with them, but over the years have been forgotten and are struggling for existence. And what if, these gods were preparing for battle against the gods of tomorrow, the gods of the Internet, smart phones, credit cards...

Shadow was never been one to believe or not believe. He lived a simple life with his wife Laura, but a series of unfortunate events had landed him in prison. An early release is the beginning of a road Shadow could not have imagined in his wildest dream of traveling. As circumstance would have it, Shadow joins up with Wednesday, formerly known as the All-father Odin. Their journey takes them across the United States, as Wednesday attempts to rally (or coerce) his fellow forgotten gods to join him in battle against the new gods of the wired age. During all of this, Shadow is plagued by dreams his doesn't understand, escapes numerous hit attempts by the opposition, mixed feelings about his wife, all the while trying to grasp the things he has seen and heard. As his journey comes to an end and as the battle for the Badlands wages, to see which side will survive in the land, Shadow finally understands what everything is about, what he is about, and reaches his true potential.

If you are willing to open your mind to the possibilities of what may really be, to see how our thoughts and beliefs can take shape and mold our world, then take the jump into another one of Neil Gaiman's edgy and amazingly fantastic novels.

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