Read this on the flight to Burkina Faso and then over a few days. Entertaining and occasionally compelling but the writing was just not edited enough to really shine. I appreciated the central idea, but the execution left me unsatisfied. Occasional digressions (let’s see if I can list a bunch of old gods and imagine them in different characters that are semi-American) were just filler (equivalent of the old TV shots of plane taking off and then plane landing …. B-roll is that what they call it?). Shadow’s somnolence was never really explored. Because he did not know his true father, he did not know himself? Is that a thing that Gaiman thinks is generally important… I guess for fantasy writers that’s a general conceit. The boy who is really son of king. Finding your parentage is the quest. Seems very self-centered for a modern novel. How about becoming a city planner instead?
Blogs I Follow
- “Novels are machines for falsely generating belief”… essay on fiction, by Zadie Smith in The New York Review of Books
- The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler
- Fiasco, by Thomas Ricks
- Adam and Allison Grant rewrite children’s books and much fiction: “Noble deed doers, you should first lecture the victims and help them help themselves more otherwise you are an enabler…”
- Great article in The New York Times about rural America and public services
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