I am going to be straight with you. Up until lately I had never read American Gods. I have, however, heard plenty about it. Recently, with all the news of the TV series adaptation, my interests were piqued. At the flip of a single gold coin I decided to listen to the audiobook version of American Gods, while simultaneously consuming the new comic book adaptations as well as the TV series as each episode was released. This was going to be a mind melding experience but I could certainly think of worse things to do with my time.
The version of the novel I decided to listen to can be found by following this link. The currently available comics can be found by following this link.
The forward of the novel is read by the author Neil Gaiman himself. This informative little piece of audio helped to set many things straight for me. Listening intently allowed me to frame the entire novel into a tight perspective, the authors perspective
Audio products are at times a little hard to consume. I sometimes find myself unconsciously drifting from the central plot. With some audiobooks (not American Gods) I am consistently having to rewind the section I had only just listened to in order to be sure I hadn’t missed anything of vital importance. And in novels I consider everything of vital importance, especially with a piece of beloved literature such as American Gods. After all I had a responsibility to uphold! The fandom surrounding this book is massive and I didn’t want to write about the subject half assed. So naturally I decided to study the shit out of it.
A couple of weeks before writing this article and viewing the available TV episodes I started to read the first issue release of the comic book adaptation. This was a blessing! Having the story laid out for me with images was an amazing compendium to the novel. What a world we live in! Not only can you have the book read to you by the author themselves but you can go through all the important plot points before hand by reading the comic book adaptation. And it is spot on!
The TV show on the other hand is a little bit of this, mixed with a little bit of that. The telling of the story is jumbled and the ultimate feel of the show is a little off. There will be definite moments of “Han shot first” syndrome when it comes to the diehard fans. I do believe that some would prefer Shadow Moon to own is actions instead of being coerced into them. Now, I’m not saying in any way that it’s a bad show but I am saying that die hard fans may find it hard to accept the liberties that have been taken in order to compress the material into hour long episodes.
Whatever the case, I found both episodes that are currently streaming on Starz (U.S) and Amazon Prime (Australia), to be fully supported by their own unique strengths. American Gods the TV show is an unmistakably good release. The detail of the characters is rich and full and should be respectively consumed in small quantities and that it is exactly how it is presented to us. This story is being visually woven for our own enjoyment. It is the journey not the goal that we will remember. With that said don’t expect to understand what is going on within the first two episodes but hold in there. The answers are no doubt coming.
I am currently 5 hrs into the audiobook. I can see the magic fans talk of. There are side stories to main plot that are, for lack of a better term, ‘literary treasure’. At times it felt as though I was nestled in bed with a grandparent reading a tale to me. This is truely beautiful story telling.
The narration by the author himself is read with the perfection that only the person who wrote the content could deliver. It is an absolute pleasure to absorb his tales. I cannot wait to see what else he offers up as the remaining plot unfolds.