Sunday, October 24, 2004

American Gods

I picked up Neil Gaiman's American Gods on a trip to Fort Knox.

Incidentally, in Die Hard Hans Gruber snarled that Fort Knox was for the tourists, but I personally didn't find, say, the Fort Knox Burger King to be that great of a vacation destination. I did take time to go to the "Thomas Edison House" which turned out to be the house in Louisville where Edison lived for a single year while working as a telegraph operator. But I digress.

I almost didn't pick up American Gods, even though it won a Hugo (didn't it?), because I wasn't very impressed by Neverwhere. But Gods is pretty good.

I was struck by several small correspondences to Earthquake Weather by Tim Powers which I also read recently (not as good). I guess if you set out to write a sweeping epic of magical fantasy distinctively rooted in an American setting, there are a certain number of ideas which are predictably likely to occur to you, e.g., Harry Houdini, the importation of voodoo by African slaves, supernatural communications coming through the television set, magical significance of cigarettes, etc.


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