American Gods (Audio) - Neil Gaiman, Daniel Oreskes, Dennis Boutsikaris, Ron McLarty

Somewhere in the course of listening to this audiobook, most of which was while on my daily walk at the mall or in the untimed time between bedtime and sleep, I lost track of where I was, and started to scan back and forth along its length. After a few turns of this, I realized that it did not matter since I was enjoying myself wherever the "Play" button took me. Hearing [a:Gaiman Neil|1221698|Neil Gaiman|]'s fluid prose, presented in the form of a play, like those I used to listen to on the radio from bygone years, was soothing, in a fashion. Though this book is at once and truly classifiable as horror, it is unusual in the depth of its thoughtfulness and tenderness. It's appeal, for me, lies in its being utterly unpretentious, standing on its own literary merits, rather than attempting to justify its premises. The author shows that one way to suspend the reader's disbelief is to carry on like the fantasy you are presenting is matter-of-fact reality, an earnestness that takes much integrity.

I ask myself now, having just finished the book, whether I will read the sequel or any other book by Gaiman. I don't know yet. Horror, nor for that matter, fantasy, are not really my thing. But maybe if I read a few poorly conceived and/or written books, I will come running to the bookshelf and pick up another Gaiman. Who knows?

Two topics that seem to come in reviews of this book:

- Immigrant theme - This is what got me going on the book at the start being an immigrant myself. I can relate to the fact that America, the melting pot that it is, absorbs all the preconceptions and baggage that an immigrant may bring and just folds these into its own melange. So I agree with the story's point that America is a tapestry woven together not only by the different cultures come together on its land, but also by all the beliefs and faiths of its immigrant population.

- Religious view - The premise that people's religious beliefs create gods is, of course, fantastical. I did not dwell on this too much, and frankly the book itself does not dwell on this, and if it did, I would probably not have enjoyed it as much. As a novel, it's entertainment, and rightfully, it does not go into theological, philosophical garble, but sticks to the story and the characters.

As a warning to the faint of heart, the book is going to scare you, or at least gross you out of your wits in a very profound way. No, it won't make you want to turn around at each noise or sound, or keep the lights on at night, but it will make you look at your personal beliefs and perhaps lead you to ask difficult questions. A few days after reading this book, you may find yourself walking in a daze wondering about your life and life in general. But in the end you will be doubly blessed because you will have been entertained by an excellent craftsman and story-teller and your personal roots will have grown deeper if only in response to the shaking and pulling it received from the experience of [b:American Gods|4407|American Gods|Neil Gaiman||1970226].