Neil Gaiman's American Gods—Deep Dive Discussion

This event has been POSTPONED. Stay tuned for further developments!

Say what you want about American Gods, Neil Gaiman’s epic, 635-page novel about new deities roaming the heartland of America. Few people are wishy-washy about it. Take a look at Gaiman’s mighty army of devotees (half a million reviews on Goodreads alone!)—reactions run the gamut from worship to dismay. Is American Gods “original, engrossing, and endlessly inventive," as George R.R. Martin describes it? Or perhaps you agree with Amazon critic KSA77 who says, "I felt like tearing out my hair trying to get through this book. Weird plot, weird characters, weird everything.” 

Feel strongly about the book? Come to Litquake’s offices and participate in our inaugural Deep Dive Discussion group on Saturday May 5 from 1 to 5 pm. Beverages and hearty snacks provided.   

Questions that might be posed by Deep Dive facilitator Jude Feldman: 

  • Gaiman refers to the “new gods of credit card and freeway, of Internet and telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and of beeper and of neon.” What is the cultural significance of these gods? And are we worshipping them every day in the Bay Area? 
  • The 10th anniversary version of American Gods is the "author's preferred text" and is a combination of Gaiman's favorite parts from his original untrimmed manuscript minus what didn't work in the first edition plus several months of additional editing for continuity. How does it differ from the original?
  • The author is from England and teaches in a fancy arts college. Is he ill-informed about the realities of life in small-town America? Or could this be considered satire? 
  • And what do we think of the TV series? Is it faithful to the book? Is it truly “an entrancingly trippy metaphorical melee” (Boston Globe), or “a lot of smoke and mirrors” (CNN)?