Monday, March 24, 2014

American Gods - A Book and Audio Book Review

by Bert Carson
I've known for a long time that signs and wonders and other things we call miracles are not signs, wonders, are miracles.  They are simply the way things really work, as opposed to the way we are taught they work.

Here's a tiny example.  As you may or may not know, I'm a fountain pen geek.  Besides leaving Vietnam in 1968, with PTSD, which many people will attest to, I left that most wondrous land with a terminal addiction to fountain pens.

My fountain pen addiction, as all fountain pen addicts will confirm, manifests in letter writing, journaling, and pen collecting.  It was the pen collecting the led me to Neil Gaiman, an author, which led me to American Gods, one of his books, which led me to this post.  And consider this, my fountain pen addiction has now affected if not infected you.

Here's how all of that works.  I was on TWSBI's Facebook page, liking it and then poking around, when I saw a face that seemed familiar, but I didn't know why.  The name attached to the face was Neil Gaiman.  I Googled the name, discovered he is an American/English author who has written many books, most of which have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List.

A little more googling and I discovered that the best selling book in Illinois is American Gods.  That clinched it.  My old Army buddy, Howard Dirler, lives in Illinois, and if it works for Howard, It works for me.

So, I virtually hiked over to Amazon and bought The tenth anniversary addition of American Gods.  While I was there, I checked for the whispersynced Audible Book version, and purchased it also.  Altogether that took about two minutes and cost $18.87 (Book $5.88 Audible Book $12.99).  For my money, I received more than twenty-five hours of top-notch entertainment, a writing lesson that cannot be purchased anywhere at any price, inspiration for a number of blog posts, and other stuff I'm not even yet aware of.

Here's the bottom line on American Gods -

  • I've been reading since I was 4 years old.  Now I'm 71.  That's sixty-seven years worth of reading more novels than you can imagine.  I've never finished reading a novel that left me totally satisfied - that is, I've never read one that I wouldn't have written a bit differently if I wrote it, until now.  Now there's one that I wouldn't change a bit - American Gods.
And, regarding the Audio Version -

  • If you've made it this far, do go all the way and spring for the $12.99 Audible Book (make sure its the 10th Anniversary, full cast, unabridged presentation).  Not only is it impeccably done, you'll find some really neat surprises at the end - those alone are worth the price.
On the old five star rating system, American Gods is a five.  In fact it's so good, as soon as I finished listening to all the credits (I finished the book listening rather than reading), I stopped the car and, via smartphone, journeyed back to Amazon where I bought The Ocean At The End Of The Lane (Kindle and Audible versions).  Though I've read only five chapters, I'm pleased to report it is also a great book.