Friday, June 3, 2016

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American GodsAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I couldn't decide between 3 or 4 stars. This is what happened. I hated the book for the entire first half. I grumbled. I chucked my copy around. I contemplated quitting it. I was so bored. The story was very boring. Bored bored bored.

I have a very serious case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) so I kept reading anyway. That's the problem with FOMO, sometimes, randomly it's rewarded. There's actually been a scientific study about random unpredictable rewards being addictive so it's no surprise that FOMO is self-reinforcing. Economic science agrees -- sunk costs after all. If I could just give up I'd never know about the occasional reward, and I would, on average, be better off. I understand that intellectually. But I can't quit. The unread book taunted me from the shelf until bit by bit- even after my daughter cruelly tore my bookmark out- which was really my dad's bookmark where he had given up who knows how many years ago. Maybe he didn't have FOMO.

Anyway, the ending was better. I ended up liking the story. I ended up liking the hero. I ended up liking even some of the supporting characters. I don't know though. I believe Gaiman has addressed this elsewhere, but it's really strange and incomplete to leave Jesus or Yahweh out of a story about American Gods- though of course that would be a mess. He could have let the other Gods talk about it though.

PS. There are two different versions of this book now- an author's version with more material... so we may not all be reading the same book exactly.

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