I read Neil Gaiman’s American Gods the year it was published. That was way back in 2001.
I remember that I was living in Memphis at the time. And I was sixteen years younger. I also remember being blown away by the novel. It went on to win the Hugo, the Nebula, the Bram Stoker, and the Locus awards, which are awarded to the year’s best novels in science fiction, horror, and fantasy. The fact that it won awards across genres is a testament to story’s scope and its refusal to fit neatly into any single box.
Over the years I’ve forgotten most of the plot details. It happens. But, I haven’t forgotten how the story made me feel.
I hadn’t planned to read it again. Then, a couple of things happened. It was adapted for television and has begun airing on Starz as of this past April. I haven’t started watching it yet, but I plan to. Also, Alastair Stephens, formerly of Storywonk and currently of Port North Media, began a podcast about the novel called Storm’s on the Way in anticipation of the Starz adaptation. I listened to the first podcast episode and was reminded of how much I had enjoyed Gaiman’s writing. I decided to read it again.
My copy of the 10th anniversary edition of American Gods arrived in the mail today. It’s called author’s preferred text and has some 12,000 words more than the original did. I will begin reading it again next week. I’m not going to zip through it, since I’m also re-reading Lord of the Rings and a couple of other books for the first time. Slow and steady wins the race, and I will be spending quite a while in this world again. I’m looking forward to it.
This will also be a multi-media experience since I’ll be listening to the podcast and also watching the Starz series during this time.
As always, the secret to happiness is having something to look forward to. This is something.