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Re: Neil Gaiman

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  • Chantal
    I read American Gods last year. The first 3/4 of the book held my attention, but the last 1/4 dragged on so much that I actually stopped reading for a time.
    Message 1 of 5 , May 1 11:08 AM
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      I read American Gods last year. The first 3/4 of the book held my attention, but the last 1/4 dragged on so much that I actually stopped reading for a time.

      The book was full of surprises, lots of great characters and detailed descriptions.
      The ending was diluted by a constant tying up of loose ends that made me feel like I was reading a crime novel rather than a fantasy. I loved the blending of the modern world with fantasy elements and would love to try other authors who accomplish this successfully. Any recommendations?

      I don't know exactly what it is about Gaiman's writing that bothers me. He is inventive, creative and imaginative. His stories are gripping, dark and generally enjoyable. In American Gods he did a
      masterful job of portraying the oddities of small-town America and bringing all the old gods to life. Shadow's dreams and the sequences about the old gods interspersed throughout were thoroughly enjoyable
      reading. Several of the characters, particularly Shadow's dead wife, were well-drawn and memorable. However, I found the same problem with 'American Gods' as I found with 'Neverwhere.' In both books the journey was much more satisfying than the final
      destination. Both books left me with a vague sense of disappointment. Perhaps Gaiman's writing is more suitable to graphic novels or screenplays than novels (I've never read the Sandman comics). Both 'Neverwhere' and 'American Gods' would make great movies. The books are dark and stylish, but seem to lack substance.

      Overall, I think Gaiman is a good writer, just not a great one. I am amazed at the high praise and glowing reviews he constantly receives. Nevertheless, I will seek out his next title when it becomes available at the library. I still believe there is a great book somewhere inside him.

      *-Chantal-*


      I am reading Gaiman's American Gods. I wonder if anyone else has read
      it and what they think. I was never into graphic novels or comic, but
      an old boyfriend has copies of Sandman that I used to read. This is a
      novel, but definitely his style.





      "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."
      -- Bertrand Russell �

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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • onering992000
      I am still finishing up the novel. you are correct, it does get slower towards the end and it could be because he does graphic novels, most of the book has the
      Message 2 of 5 , May 1 4:47 PM
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        I am still finishing up the novel. you are correct, it does get
        slower towards the end and it could be because he does graphic
        novels, most of the book has the graphic novel feel, which is why the
        characters are so well drawn and seem so real, yet sometimes like the
        narrative cohesion present is a straight novel.
        I think he is popular, though, because he presents characters that he
        reading public, which is probably mainly white and male, can relate
        too or at least how they see themselves.


        --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, Chantal <nft966mf26@y...>
        wrote:
        > I read American Gods last year. The first 3/4 of the book held my
        attention, but the last 1/4 dragged on so much that I actually
        stopped reading for a time.
        >
        > The book was full of surprises, lots of great characters and
        detailed descriptions.
        > The ending was diluted by a constant tying up of loose ends that
        made me feel like I was reading a crime novel rather than a fantasy.
        I loved the blending of the modern world with fantasy elements and
        would love to try other authors who accomplish this successfully.
        Any recommendations?
        >
        > I don't know exactly what it is about Gaiman's writing that bothers
        me. He is inventive, creative and imaginative. His stories are
        gripping, dark and generally enjoyable. In American Gods he did a
        > masterful job of portraying the oddities of small-town America and
        bringing all the old gods to life. Shadow's dreams and the sequences
        about the old gods interspersed throughout were thoroughly enjoyable
        > reading. Several of the characters, particularly Shadow's dead
        wife, were well-drawn and memorable. However, I found the same
        problem with 'American Gods' as I found with 'Neverwhere.' In both
        books the journey was much more satisfying than the final
        > destination. Both books left me with a vague sense of
        disappointment. Perhaps Gaiman's writing is more suitable to graphic
        novels or screenplays than novels (I've never read the Sandman
        comics). Both 'Neverwhere' and 'American Gods' would make great
        movies. The books are dark and stylish, but seem to lack substance.
        >
        > Overall, I think Gaiman is a good writer, just not a great one. I
        am amazed at the high praise and glowing reviews he constantly
        receives. Nevertheless, I will seek out his next title when it
        becomes available at the library. I still believe there is a great
        book somewhere inside him.
        >
        > *-Chantal-*
        >
        >
        > I am reading Gaiman's American Gods. I wonder if anyone else has
        read
        > it and what they think. I was never into graphic novels or comic,
        but
        > an old boyfriend has copies of Sandman that I used to read. This is
        a
        > novel, but definitely his style.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are
        always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."
        > -- Bertrand Russell  
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        > Do you Yahoo!?
        > The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo.
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Chantal
        I think Shadow is your basic everyman , but he did seem a little unreal at times, a litle too innocent. He never did anything bad or unlikeable (except for
        Message 3 of 5 , May 2 7:10 AM
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          I think Shadow is your basic "everyman", but he did seem a little
          unreal at times, a litle too innocent. He never did anything bad or
          unlikeable (except for the crime we know little about). He struck me
          as the kind of guy who spent most of his life in a small town, drives
          a pick-up truck and listens to classic rock, has little knowledge of
          or interest in the world around him and if he reads at all, prefers
          bestsellers by King or Grisham. The references to his reading Thomas
          Pynchon didn't seem at all consistent with the image I had of Shadow.

          The old gods were very dynamic characters, but the old ones were
          lacking personality and they all seemed the same. What do you think?

          Do you really think most of the reading public is male? I always
          thought women liked to read more, or maybe men still do read more SF.

          *-Chantal-*


          > I am still finishing up the novel. you are correct, it does get
          > slower towards the end and it could be because he does graphic
          > novels, most of the book has the graphic novel feel, which is why
          the
          > characters are so well drawn and seem so real, yet sometimes like
          the
          > narrative cohesion present is a straight novel.
          > I think he is popular, though, because he presents characters that
          he
          > reading public, which is probably mainly white and male, can relate
          > too or at least how they see themselves.
        • onering992000
          I though some of the old gods lacked personality but they were described and characterized well, so it didnt seem to be a problem to me. I think the SF reading
          Message 4 of 5 , May 7 8:26 PM
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            I though some of the old gods lacked personality but they were
            described and characterized well, so it didnt seem to be a problem to
            me.

            I think the SF reading public, other than high fantasy, is mostly
            male. At least, most of my fellow readers are people I work with,
            generally white males, who i chat SF with. None of the women seem
            into SF sadly, but it is changing.

            As per your earlier post, Ted Chiang's short story, "Hell is the
            Absence of God" blends mytthical images (biblical angels) well with
            real life situations. Also, Nalo Hopkinson, who has been mentioned
            alot here. It's hard to do.

            --- In SciFiNoir_Lit@yahoogroups.com, "Chantal" <nft966mf26@y...>
            wrote:
            > I think Shadow is your basic "everyman", but he did seem a little
            > unreal at times, a litle too innocent. He never did anything bad
            or
            > unlikeable (except for the crime we know little about). He struck
            me
            > as the kind of guy who spent most of his life in a small town,
            drives
            > a pick-up truck and listens to classic rock, has little knowledge
            of
            > or interest in the world around him and if he reads at all, prefers
            > bestsellers by King or Grisham. The references to his reading
            Thomas
            > Pynchon didn't seem at all consistent with the image I had of
            Shadow.
            >
            > The old gods were very dynamic characters, but the old ones were
            > lacking personality and they all seemed the same. What do you
            think?
            >
            > Do you really think most of the reading public is male? I always
            > thought women liked to read more, or maybe men still do read more
            SF.
            >
            > *-Chantal-*
            >
            >
            > > I am still finishing up the novel. you are correct, it does get
            > > slower towards the end and it could be because he does graphic
            > > novels, most of the book has the graphic novel feel, which is why
            > the
            > > characters are so well drawn and seem so real, yet sometimes like
            > the
            > > narrative cohesion present is a straight novel.
            > > I think he is popular, though, because he presents characters
            that
            > he
            > > reading public, which is probably mainly white and male, can
            relate
            > > too or at least how they see themselves.
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