OTReads: Anna Burzynski

Junior photographer Anna Burzynski reviews Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

Words by Anna Burzynski

The tale is the map which is the territory: A review on Neil Gaiman’s American Gods

Neil Gaiman once again calls for  readers to imagine places unknown with writing that allows them to see it in front of them. American Gods is a book starring a character named Shadow, who recently got out of jail, and is coping with news that his wife had just recently died in a car accident. On his way home he meets a man called Wednesday. With nothing left for him in his hometown he accepts an offer from Wednesday to become his personal bodyguard and helper. Wednesday reminds him to always remember one thing about the job: He isn’t paid to ask questions. 

This was a story I read for a few reasons; my mom always suggesting Neil Gaiman books to me, my love for mythology stemming from reading Percy Jackson as a kid, and wanting to watch the show on Amazon prime. I had previously tried to read it in seventh grade, but it just never seemed to stick. Fortunately this time I stuck through and was able to enjoy all that it was.

From the old myths to the new age of technology, Gaiman takes us through a world that is similar to ours but is intertwined with curiosity and wonder. This is a book that leaves you to ponder about the things that we as people worship or adore.  Gaiman actually mentions places in the United States that Shadow travels to. Due to this, there is a set roadtrip that you can actually follow, one of my bucket list goals now that I am learning to drive, while encouraging you to find some of the locations that aren’t found on a geographical map. With different stories woven in between chapters you get to watch human nature evolve and grow. 

It isn’t a story that you are interested in but a story that you are connected to. It has a seamlessness to it that makes you get lost into the story. Gaiman blends our world with the one he created so well that after a long time of reading it is difficult to tell which is which.