1. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Should I keep reading American Gods?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by garmar69, Dec 6, 2008.

    Around page 120 my interest started to wane. It’s been a page here and there for days now. I’m at 140 something now with about 300 to go. So, is it worth it? I can read 300 pages in about four, 1 hour sessions, if I’m interested. If I’m not, well…

    And I find his writing style very awkward. At first it seemed fresh, but that is rubbing off to the point of being annoying. Example: The seemingly irrelevant interludes between chapters; do they make sense at the end, or are they just random musings?

    Also, every character, no matter how minor, gets a complete run-down on their appearance. This annoys me to the max; imo, now don't get me wrong, his characterization is second to none, but please get on with the story! The same with tone, sometimes a snack is as good as a feast.

    Most of the time I would just put a book down despite the time invested, but I’ve heard so many people go on about how awesome this book is. So I’m loath to throw it away if it is indeed a fantastic book. Has anyone else experienced this?
     
  2. 67Kangaroos
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    67Kangaroos Contributing Member

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    hrmmm... i had the same problem with that book. it started getting... blah, but it picks back up again towards the end. i think it's worth reading, though i'd have to say it's not quite 'fantastic.'
    "neverwhere" by him is though.
     
  3. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you think you might get something out of it, even if you aren't enjoying it very much, read it. If you are bored and don't think you'll get anything out of reading it, don't. Keep in mind, getting something out of it can include observing how not to do something if you see a weakness in a person's writing, such as the random musings.
     
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  4. laurelin
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    laurelin Member

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    You shouldn't continue to read something if it starts to feel like a chore about halfway through. It doesn't really matter what other people think, because everyone has their own personal preferences. If you try to force yourself to get through a book, unless it is required reading for a class or some such thing, it will end up being a waste of time.
     
  5. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    Gaiman writes far better short stories than novels, imo. American Gods could quite happily have about a third of the pages torn out and not suffer in any way.

    That said, I didn't regret sticking with it, though I was just scan-reading the character bios by about the point you're at now. The story's a good one, though I don't think it's his best. Of his novels, Anansi Boys gets my vote there.

    Quick disclaimer for the flaming a flatmate's just told me I'm going to get: I've not read Neverwhere
     
  6. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think I'm going to stick it out. I have Anansi Boys also, but haven't gotten to it yet. It should be worth my time, if nothing else but to see what I shouldn't do with a story, like Rei advised.

    Thanks for the advice guys.
     
  7. PipeandPen
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    PipeandPen Senior Member

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    Glad to see you came to a solution. I was going to suggest to stick with it. It'll refine your tastes and you'll learn from it. Like you said, if nothing else you'll know what not to do when writing.
     
  8. Mesuno
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    Mesuno Member

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    Hmmm... I know what you mean about the style. He comes across as slow and tedious at times, but I think thats a deliberate affectation for this book. He is trying to bring across an empty, hollow feeling about the world which I think echos quite nicely in exactly those bits you are talking about.

    I'd say stick with it and try to learn something from it - you may not like it exactly, but is it or is it not effective in this case?
     
  9. Mesuno
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    Mesuno Member

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    Oh, and Anansi Boys is a much more enjoyable read as already mentioned.
     
  10. Kratos
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    Kratos Contributing Member

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    That's odd. American Gods is one of my favorite books, and definetly my favorite by Neil Gaiman. I couldn't put it down.

    It gets better and better as it goes on.
     
  11. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm still slogging through this one guys. I even had to re-check it out at the library. I've read four books since I started this one but I'm determined to finish it because I've learned a lot from Gaiman. He's fresh and writes vibrant prose; but the interludes, while interesting--sometimes more so than the story itself--are distracting. I'm in the last leg though and will report some of my final thoughts after I'm finished.
     

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