But before I do, let me answer the objection: “This is a crime fiction blog! What on earth are you doing reviewing a fantasy novel?” My answer is this: I have no answer for you. Technically, you could consider this a mystery novel – there is a mystery that is solved at a certain point in the novel – but I wouldn’t recommend approaching it as such. The reason I picked up this book is tangentially related to crime fiction – Bryan Fuller’s next project after the fantastic TV series Hannibal was a television adaptation of American Gods. I was intrigued by the description, and the book landed on my to-be-read pile. I felt like picking this book up a few weeks ago, so I did.
And I’m very glad I did. American Gods is in many ways a bizarre book, telling the story of Shadow, a convicted prisoner who gets out early when his wife dies in a car crash. On his way back home, he encounters a mysterious stranger who goes by the name of Mr. Wednesday. Thus begins Shadow’s involvement in an epic war between gods, pitting “old gods” (e.g. Odin, Anansi) against their new rivals (who represent such things as modern media or the Internet). But the book is much more than a clash between deities, it is a fascinating attempt to depict America and its relationship with these deities.