I finished “The Graveyard Book” and “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman who is famous for his books in “Fantasy” genre and found both of them interesting.
The Graveyard Book
Even though this book is full of ghosts and other monsters, it is not scary and does not come under horror category. It is a very sweet book about a boy who grows up in a graveyard with ghosts. I was able to predict the story but still it was kind of cute and very different from other stories I have come across. I am sure children/teenagers will enjoy this book more than I did.
Most importantly, I fell in love with Nobody Owens. His character was developed in a very nice manner. I also liked Silas, who kind of reminded me of Harry’s godfather Sirius Black in some ways. I saw the similar kind of affection between the two of them.
I would like to listen to the audiobook narrated by Neil himself sometime.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I neither loved it nor hated it. I liked the idea and the concept behind the book but not the book itself. It was definitely NOT boring. But I cannot say that it was interesting. It was kind of weird, very different from all the other books I have ever read. The writing style was pretty quirky. I read and liked his “The Graveyard Book” a lot and that was the reason I picked this book.
I was bored of reading the usual kind of books and this book was a refreshing change. I like mythology, fantasy, suspense, history and this book was a blend of all the four.
What this book is about:
It is about Gods – old and new. Immigrants when they moved to America, brought with them their own Gods and religion. But with time, these Gods are being replaced by other Gods like technology, TV, radio, Internet etc. This book is about a war that takes place between the old and new Gods. I in fact, loved this story and the way it ends.
What I liked:
At the end of each chapter, there was a short story about immigration to America and these were interesting to read. I liked the one about slaves from Africa. Many Gods have been introduced in this book, many of them about whom I had no idea. The various forms of these Gods that were explained by Gaiman kept me amused. Ganesha and Kali from Indian subcontinent are mentioned too.
There were some subtle twists in the story towards the end, which were good enough. There is a small mystery embedded which gets solved at the end. I liked that mystery part too. My American geography improved 🙂
Overall, it was a good read and I do not regret reading the book.
What could have been better:
The book could have been edited and at least 100 pages could have been reduced probably 🙂 The pace is very slow. Very little happens even after you finish some 30 pages. Conversations sometimes last for 10 pages 😛 Some scenes did not add much value to the main story and I had a hard time finishing the book. Not that I got bored, but it was little dragging at times. Also the writing style wasn’t intriguing or something. It was pretty bland and the story had no ups and downs. It was also pretty predictable, except maybe the ending which I was not able to guess. It did have some very weird sex scenes, which I did not like.
There were plenty of quotes I liked from the book.
-> Call no man happy, until he is dead
-> Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.
-> This is the only country in the world, that worries about what it is.
-> All we have to believe with is our senses, the tools we use to perceive the world: our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted.
-> The really dangerous people believe that they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.
-> Gods are great. But the heart is greater. For it is from our hearts they come, and to our hearts they shall return…
My verdict: Go for it if you like fantasy and mythology. If you are looking for a “different” book, then pick it up.