So a little back story here, my flatmate works in a library as a library assistant, that’s what you and I would consider a librarian. Turns out the librarian is more of a shadowy figure pulling the strings in the background and not the people you see at the library. Regardless she’s my book dealer…. She hits me up with the good stuff, and she knows what tickles my fancy. So one day she off hands mention a book she saw, that I would like cause, and I quote ‘it looks a bit odd’.
I must admit, when I picked it up and first started reading, I was doubtful. It was odd, and tongue in cheek, but in a way that made me a little bit embarrassed for it. It tripped over itself like an awkward kid. But like all great puberty stories it quickly found itself and I found myself quickly absorbed into a strange world somewhere inbetween hackers and King Arthur. The characters themselves are instantly likeable, from the awkwardness of Martin stuck in a new land, to the plain simplicity of Phillip the mentor.
I quickly found myself wanting to read more and the humour is the two that once you get it, it’s stuck. I would reccommend this book to people of a certain sentiment, perhaps those with a specific type of humour. Give the authors web comics a read, and if they make you chuckle, don’t hesitate to stop and pick up a copy of this book!
So I’ve been reading this for a week now, and finished it Friday night, and it was a crazy ride. First thing you realise about this book is its weird, very weird, from the sometimes disjointed timeliness of the chapters, up to the many vastly detailed dream sequences. And I think it’s this weirdness that cements the book so solidly for me. It’s a book that makes itself singularly incomparable, in both theme and form. Neil Gaiman manages to perfectly capture and modernise the idea of God’s in a way that despite seeming completely impossible and ridicules, makes perfect sense. The characters seem very real, the gods even more so than the regular humans in the book, because the main human characters are so flawed, so inherently human that it’s hard to decipher whether you’re rooting for them or not. And this makes them loveable, of you agree with what they’re doing or not, you want them to do it. Gaiman’s rich attention to detail and vast amounts of research are blindingly obvious as each story within the story leaks just enough historical information for you to find yourself thinking, I know what this is about, before you get whisked away to another existential question on human existence. All in all this book is a lot like taking a ride on the world’s biggest carousel, Its odd, it’s loud and you quite often get the impression you shouldn’t be there, but one thing you do know is you certainly don’t want to get off.