My newest obession isn’t new at all – only new to me. It’s actually an over-a-decade old obession for some.
Let me pause to say: I read a book.
This is a big thing for me. As a child I took part in a competitive reading program. Accelerated Reader. I mean… it worked. Prizes were awarded but I did also enjoy reading and did a lot of it for a 10 year old but by the end of fifth grade I was done reading. Suddenly, reading became painful to me. The last book I remember that I chose to read, completed and retained it’s information was ‘Dracula’ and it still remains my favorite book.
So here I am, some 10+ years later, and I’m finding it a necessary comfort to tote a book around with me where ever I scurry.
This entry in The Misterhood of the Traveling Pizza isn’t just about a book though. No, this is something much larger.
I am so thankful a handsome, tall and cheerful fellow waltzed into work one day with a passion for the imaginary and a path to set me on. This soulmate-esque coworker spoke often of what I believe is his favorite author and highly suggested the best seller “American Gods”. Sure, it took me a couple years but, I’m finally wading into the waters that cause one to fall madly in love with Neil Gaiman.
The moment I sat in that silent gym and first opened the crisp pages of my newly purchased book… I knew it was for me. The tone, the characters, the subject matter, the pop culture references. They all made it seem like this book was written just for me.
Suggesting it to others is a new hobby of mine. “American Gods” is a novel about a man, imprisoned, who gets out a little early due the death of his beloved wife. He’s made some poor choices but he’s soon to find out so have other people in his life. On his way to her wake he comes across a strange man who wants to hire him for odd jobs and… security? Our main character is then thrown into this world that exists without our knowledge and yet stands nexts to us in day to day life.
As we all immigrated to America we brought our culture, our lore, our gods. They took root in America as we created what we now call ‘the metling pot’. Times change though and today our greedy society is taking power from the old gods and new ones have been created. Technology, media, money – all the things we give unlimited power to today.
Without giving away too much I can say our main character ‘Shadow’ gets to explore these gods, this… other world (so to speak) and gets caught in the cross fire of that tale as old as time where the past fights the future. Now that I’ve completed the tenth anniversary edition of ‘American Gods’ I can definitely see why it was an international best seller.
What made me finally go out and buy it was the fact that Starz had created a television series of it that was soon to air. Having given up on reading, I’m normally one of those usual suspects who hasn’t read the books that television series are based on. This time was going to be different. With a trustworthy recommendation and content that closely related to my interests, I felt an urgent need to complete this book before it made its way to my t.v. screen.
That’s what else this entry is about. My obsession doesn’t end with “The End”. Watching both trailers for the upcoming series has become a daily religious practice of mine. You can watch it at the link below. Or go back to my Facebook page where I will post it immediately after this.
[American Gods: Season 1 Trailer]
Neil Gaiman himself approves of Starz’s creation and the cast has me giddy like a school child. Now, I know our main character ‘Shadow’ from Keri Russell’s “Austenland” where he played a horribly over the top soap opera actor but from what I’ve seen it doesn’t seem like serious, stoic characters are absent from his wheel house. You’ll know the others though:
and… wait for it… Pablo Schreiber aka Pornstache from “Orange Is The New Black”.
As you watch the trailers and read the novel you get unspoken promises of blood, sex, mythology and sheer epicness. But.. maybe you don’t want to commit to reading it though because the show is just a month way.
Well you’re in luck! The first season is said to cover a third of the book with episodes giving you backstory not found in the text. Watch the 8 episodes… if it tickles your fancy… read the book. You can find cheap copies on Amazon or even get the audiobook free with Audible’s 30 day trial. I bought the $20 tenth anniversary edition at B&N and then found a Neil Gaiman double feature hardback for $25 that I added to my collection. This one is a good idea because you get Anansi Boys as well, which tells the tale of another character.
If you’re just interested in the show though I will leave you with this nifty chart Neil Gaiman shared himself. Starz obviously isn’t known for it’s AMAZING shows like HBO or Showtime so they want everyone to know their options. Thank the gods for Amazon Prime!