Tuesday, May 23, 2017

American Gods by Neil Gaiman + a Giveaway

Happy Tuesday, readers! Today I'm super stoked to be part of the TLC blog tour for Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade, Neil Gaiman has to have popped up on your radar in some form or another by now. Most recently, of course, is the long awaited American Gods show, based on the book, currently airing Sunday nights on Starz.

I'd vowed to start the book before watching the show, but failed in that regard. I couldn't resist! I did catch up quickly, though, as the first three episodes (which aired before my review date here) were just the first 100 pages or so of the book.

I have to say, now having read it and trying to sum up my feelings, I don't envy anyone who worked on this book and had to write a synopsis or pitch for it. I can't figure it out! I've tried and it turns into this long, rambly thing that makes no sense.

And in a way, that's the book. Except that under Gaiman's deft hand, a story that could easily have gone off the rails and landed readers in confusion land works. It works so much so that it's equally praised and revered by just about everyone out there (though as Gaiman tells it, folks seemed to passionately love it or vehemently hate it).

That being said, here's the good old Goodreads synopsis to kick things off:

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies... and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

So we've got Shadow who's just been released from prison. His wife is dead under circumstances that are definitely adding salt to the wound of now being widowed, and he's been offered a job by a man he kind of doesn't trust. What's more, he's been knocked about by a giant calling himself a leprechaun and hounded by folks out for his new boss. And that's all before Wednesday's world REALLY starts opening up to our hero.

Gaiman's world of American Gods is one where gods and goddesses of the world's mythology have traveled to the shores of American with its believers. And now those once worshipped beings have all but been forgotten.

Shadow's travels and adventures are punctuated by tales of immigrants. A varying cast of characters and timelines, the stories illustrate the range of people and beliefs that built America. These pauses in the main plot might throw off some readers, but I found they added yet another layer to the already rich story. Sure, any student of mythology can likely identify, at the very least, the bigger of the Egyptian and Norse gods. But Gaiman doesn't stop there by any means.

And it's not just gods and goddesses that make appearances. The landmarks, the odder the better it seems, that are stops along Wednesday and Shadow's travels, are in large part real. House on the Rock, for example, and its carousel, really exist. Whether it plays hosts to a conference of powerful beings of folklore is the real question!

American Gods is yet another example of Neil Gaiman's genius. I may be a fan girl for saying it, but I'm in good company in that belief. And if you've got the chance, the show is definitely well worth the watch. It's Gaiman's story, visualized by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green. Fuller, who was also the mind behind Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, and Hannibal, brings along his flair for tantalizing and graphic visuals as well as much of the cast he's worked with in the past. And the show is, so far, a quite true adaptation of the Gaiman's work.

And now for the giveaway. I've got two this round - first is for a copy of the movie tie in version AND a coloring book. Second is for just a coloring book. To enter to win, simply fill out the Rafflecopter of your choice (or both) below. Open US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Neil Gaiman and his work you can visit his website here. You can also like him on Facebook and follow him on TwitterInstagram, and Tumblr.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Dianna said...

Ooooh, this book is on my wishlist! Just love N. Gaiman, although his stories are usually a bit above my head.

traveler said...

Thanks for this treasure of a giveaway which is lovely.

Danielle H. said...

I have this book on my wish list too. We are big fans in this house.

Jennifer said...

I haven't read American Gods yet, but I loved Neverwhere. Neil Gaimain is so amazing.

techeditor said...

You're right: I've been hearing about this book for a long time. Now I want to read it because my nephew, who is well read and likes the kind of books I do, is looking for this book. So, if I win, I'll pass it on to him after I read it.

We'll see if my review is long and convoluted like you say yours was.

Burma Turner said...

Have heard good things about this book. Thank you for the chance to win!

Jennifer | Book Den said...

At some point I need to try this book again. It's been a long time since my first attempt, and I'd like to know what the fuss is about. :)

rhonda said...

On my wishlistšŸ˜

rhonda said...

On my wishlistšŸ˜

Jennifer Tar Heel Reader said...

I recently listened to a Neil Gaiman book, The House at the End of the Lane, which he narrated. I really enjoyed it. Very different. Great imagination. I am recording American Gods on my DVR and would love to read the book first before watching.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Gaiman is so incredibly talented and original - I may not love all of his books but I find all of them very fascinating. This one in particular is so different than anything else I've ever read!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Tracy Shafer said...

I love Neils books!! I can't wait to read this.

Tracy Shafer said...

The coloring book looks great

MichelleCat said...

Thank you ~ Read it before but, do not own it and want to read it again!

MichelleCat said...

Interesting coloring book, wouldn't ever have thought about one for this book.

wabashriver1 said...

This book is on my reading list!

Dynalroberson@gmail.com said...

I love Neil's works!