The Full Wiki

American Gods: Wikis

  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American Gods  
American gods.jpg
Cover of first edition (hardcover)
Author Neil Gaiman
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Fantasy novel
Publisher William Morrow
Publication date June 19, 2001
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages 480 pp
ISBN ISBN 0-380-97365-0
OCLC Number 46393953
Dewey Decimal 813/.54 21
LC Classification PR6057.A319 A84 2001
Followed by Anansi Boys, "The Monarch of the Glen" (Fragile Things)

American Gods is a Hugo and Nebula Award-winning[1] novel by Neil Gaiman. The novel is a blend of Americana, fantasy, and various strands of ancient and modern mythology, all centering on a mysterious and taciturn protagonist, Shadow. It is Gaiman's fourth prose novel, being preceded by Good Omens (a collaboration with Terry Pratchett), Neverwhere, and Stardust. Several of the themes touched upon in the book were previously glimpsed in The Sandman graphic novels.

The book was published in 2001 by Headline in the United Kingdom and by William Morrow in the United States.

A signed and numbered limited edition has been released by Hill House Publishers. It is 12,000 words longer than the mass market editions and represents Neil Gaiman's preferred edition. This is the version now in print from Headline in the UK.[2]

Gaiman's subsequent novel Anansi Boys was actually conceived before American Gods, and shares a character, Mr. Nancy. It is not a sequel but could possibly be of the same fictional world. Although Anansi the spider god of African legend appears in both American Gods and Anansi Boys, implying a connection, one of Neil Gaiman's signature touches is the use of allusion, both to works by other authors and to mechanics and themes used in his own books. The novella, "Monarch of the Glen" (from the Legends II anthology, later collected in Fragile Things), continues Shadow's journeys. This latter anthology also features the characters of Mr. Alice and Mr. Smith, a pair of dubious men who also appeared in a Gaiman short story called "Keepsakes and Treasures", suggesting that this tale is a part of the American Gods universe as well.

On February 28, 2008, Gaiman announced on his journal that for one month, the complete text of American Gods would be available to the public on his publisher's website.[3]

Contents

Plot summary

The central concept is that gods and mythological creatures exist because people believe in them. Immigrants to the United States brought dwarves, elves, leprechauns, and other spirits and gods with them, but their power is diminished as people's beliefs wane. New gods have arisen, reflecting America's obsessions with media, celebrity, technology, and illegal drugs, among others.

The book follows the adventures of ex-convict Shadow, who is released from prison a few days earlier than planned on account of the death of his wife, Laura, in a car accident. He discovers at the funeral that the car crashed because Laura was performing oral sex on Shadow's late friend Robbie, who was driving. Even before learning of the death of Robbie, who was to give Shadow a job, Shadow has been repeatedly offered work as a bodyguard by a confidence man called Mr. Wednesday. Shadow accepts Mr. Wednesday's offer and they both travel across America visiting Wednesday's unusual colleagues and acquaintances. Gradually, it is revealed that Wednesday is an incarnation of Odin the All-Father (the name Wednesday is derived from "Odin's (Woden's) day"), who in his current guise is recruiting American manifestations of the Old Gods of ancient mythology, whose powers have waned as their believers have decreased in number, to participate in an epic battle against the New American Gods, manifestations of modern life and technology (for example, the Internet, media, and modern means of transport), which appear as a Secret Services organisation (according to the goddess Eostre, similarly to the old gods, the new gods exist because "everyone knows they must exist"). Shadow's wife Laura comes back in the form of a sentient animated corpse due to a special coin Shadow had acquired and placed on her coffin at her burial, unknowing of the effect it would have.

Mythological characters prominently featured in the book include Mr Wednesday (Odin), Low-Key Lyesmith (Loki Lie-Smith), Czernobog, the Zorya, the Norns, Mr Nancy (Anansi), Easter (Eostre), Mama Ji (Kali), Whiskey Jack (Wisakedjak) Mr Ibis (Thoth), Mr Jacquel (Anubis), Horus, and Bast. In addition to the numerous figures from real-world myths, a few characters from The Sandman and its spinoffs make brief cameos in the book. Other mythological characters featured in the novel are not divine, but are legendary or folk heroes, such as Johnny Appleseed. Shadow himself is implied to be the Norse god Balder, which is confirmed in the follow-up novella, "Monarch of the Glen". The story also features, in its most erotic chapter, a succubus-like re-invention of the Queen of Sheba, who while posing as a prostitute literally swallows a man through her sexual organs. "Bilquis", as she is called here, is later killed by one of the New Gods. Sexuality as a rule plays a part in the plot and subplots; Mr. Wednesday uses his magical powers to bed several young virgins on the journey across America ("And I need her, not as an end in herself, but to wake me up a little. Even King David knew that there is one easy prescription to get warm blood flowing through an old frame: take one virgin, call me in the morning.") while Shadow is seduced in his dreams by a humanoid version of Bast, Egyptian goddess of fertility.

When the New Gods murder Wednesday – thus galvanizing the Old Gods into action – Shadow obeys Wednesday's order by holding his vigil. This is accomplished by re-enacting the act performed by Odin of hanging from a "World Tree" while pierced by a spear. Shadow eventually dies and visits the land of the dead, where he is guided by Thoth and judged by Anubis. Eostre later brings him back to life, obeying orders that she does not fully understand. During the period between life and death, Shadow learns that he is Wednesday's son, conceived as part of the deity's plans. He realizes that Odin and Loki have been working a "two-man con." They orchestrated Shadow's birth, his meeting of Loki in disguise as his prison cellmate "Low Key Lyesmith" and Laura's death. Loki, secretly "Mr. World", the leader of the New Gods, orders Odin's murder so that Shadow's vigil will serve as a sacrifice to Odin, restoring his power. They have been playing both sides off each other, and plan a great battle between the New Gods and the Old Gods. Odin would feed on the gods' deaths, while Loki would feed on the chaos of the battle.

Shadow arrives in time to stop the battle, explaining that both sides had nothing to gain and everything to lose, with Odin and Loki the only winners. America is a "bad place for Gods", Shadow tells them, and recommends they go home and make the best of what they can get. The Gods depart, Odin's ghost fades, and Loki is impaled on a branch of the World Tree by Laura, who finally dies after Shadow takes the magical coin from her.

In an extensive subplot, Shadow follows a clue given to him by the Hindu god Ganesha to discover that a man called Hinzelmann, who had been Shadow's neighbor for a time, is a kobold who annually sacrifices children to empower himself and prevent the small town of Lakeside from succumbing to the economic decay that has claimed many similar towns. Shadow confronts Hinzelmann, who is then shot by a local policeman whose father Hinzelmann had previously killed to keep his secret.

After this, Shadow attempts to confront Sam Black Crow, a girl of Native-American descent whom he had met several times in the past. Though he thinks he loves her, he sees her with a girlfriend, and decides that she is happier with her than she'd ever be with him. It is not clear why the two lovers don't see him as they walk past him, though it is possible that Shadow is inadvertently "backstage", a state of existence only Gods can enter. Unbeknownst to Sam, he slips flowers into her hands and leaves with a ruefull "What the hell, we'll always have Peru. And El Paso. We'll always have that."

Following the final confrontation between the gods, Shadow visits Iceland, where he meets another incarnation of Odin who was created by the belief of the original settlers of Iceland, and is therefore much closer to the Odin of mythology than Wednesday is. Shadow accuses Odin of Wednesday's actions, whereupon Odin replies that "He was me, yes. But I am not him." After a short talk, Shadow gives Odin Wednesday's glass eye, which Odin places in a leather bag as a keepsake.

Influences

The novel's dedication reads "For absent friends - Kathy Acker and Roger Zelazny and all points in between".[4]

Various real-life towns and tourist attractions, including the House on the Rock (and its 'world's largest carousel') and Rock City, are featured through the course of the book. Gaiman states in an introduction that he has obscured the precise location of some actual locales.

According to Gaiman, American Gods is not based on Diana Wynne Jones's Eight Days of Luke, "although they bear an odd relationship, like second cousins once removed or something". When working on the structure of a story linking gods and days of the week, he realised that this idea had already been used in Eight Days of Luke. He abandoned the story, but later used the idea when writing American Gods to depict Wednesday and Shadow meeting on the god's namesake day.[5]

Gaiman said John James's novel Votan was an influence on American Gods, saying “I think probably the best book ever done about the Norse was a book that I couldn’t allow myself to read between coming up with the idea of American Gods and finishing it. After it was published I actually sat down and allowed myself to read it for the first time in 15 years and discovered it was just as good as I thought it was”.[6]

Website tie-in

While Gaiman was writing American Gods, his publishers set up a promotional web site featuring a weblog in which Gaiman described the day-to-day process of writing, revising, publishing, and promoting the novel. After the novel was published, the web site evolved into a more general Official Neil Gaiman Web Site, and as of 2010 Gaiman still regularly adds to the weblog, describing the day-to-day process of being Neil Gaiman and writing, revising, publishing, or promoting his current project.

Awards

The book won the 2002 Hugo,[1] Nebula,[1], Locus,[1], SFX Magazine and Bram Stoker Awards, all for Best Novel, and likewise received nominations for the 2001 BSFA Award,[7], as well as the 2002 World Fantasy,[1] International Horror Guild and Mythopoeic,[8], and British Fantasy[1] Awards. It won the 2004 Geffen Award.

Translations

  • Ameerika jumalad (Estonian),
  • Amerykańscy bogowie (Polish), ISBN 83-89004-10-0
  • Zei Americani (Romanian), ISBN 973-733-070-6
  • אלים אמריקאים (Elim Amerikaim) (Hebrew)
  • American Gods (Italian), ISBN 88-04-52083-3
  • Deuses Americanos (Portuguese), ISBN 85-87193-59-7
  • Američtí bohové (Czech), ISBN 80-85911-98-1
  • Unohdetut jumalat ("Forgotten Gods") (Finnish), ISBN 951-1-18055-X
  • Amerikai Istenek (Hungarian), ISBN 9639441538
  • American Gods (Spanish), ISBN 84-8431-627-0
  • Američki Bogovi (Croatian), ISBN 953-220-126-2
  • Američki bogovi (Serbian), ISBN 86-7436-039-4
  • Американские боги (Amerikanskie bogi) (Russian), ISBN 5-17-019844-2
  • Amerikos dievai (Lithuanian), ISBN 9986-97-101-2
  • Amerikan Tanrıları (Turkish), ISBN 9789751019042
  • American Gods (German), ISBN 3-453-40037-2
  • Amerikanska Gudar (Swedish), ISBN 91-3712-227-4
  • 美國眾神 (Chinese), ISBN 978-986-7399-84-7
  • Ο Πόλεμος των Θεών (O Polemos ton Theon/War of the Gods) (Greek)
  • American Gods (French), ISBN 978-2-290-33041-8
  • Американски богове (Bulgarian), ISBN 954-5-85519-3
  • 신들의 전쟁 (상), 신들의 전쟁(하) (Korean), ISBN 9788960172685,ISBN 9788960172692

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "2002 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2002. Retrieved 2009-08-05.  
  2. ^ Official Website of Neil Gaiman's UK Publishers Retrieved on 2009-06-13.
  3. ^ *Gaiman, Neil (2008-02-28). "Kids! Free! Book!". Neil Gaiman's Journal. http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/02/kids-free-book.html. Retrieved 2008-02-29.  
  4. ^ Dornemann, Rudi; Kelly Everding (Summer 2001). "Dreaming American Gods: an Interview With Neil Gaiman". Rain Taxi Online Edition. Rain Taxi, Inc.. http://www.raintaxi.com/online/2001summer/gaiman.shtml. Retrieved 2009-09-28.  
  5. ^ *Gaiman, Neil (2001-09-25). "Neil Gaiman - September 2001". Neil Gaiman's Journal. http://www.neilgaiman.com/exclusive/agblogarchive/2001_09. Retrieved 2007-01-03.  
  6. ^ Interview with Neil Gaiman 2005
  7. ^ "2001 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. http://www.worldswithoutend.com/books_year_index.asp?year=2001. Retrieved 2009-08-05.  
  8. ^ "Honor roll:Fiction books". Award Annals. 2007-08-16. http://www.awardannals.com/wiki/Honor_roll:Fiction_books. Retrieved 2007-08-16.  

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

I have as many names as there are winds, as many titles as there are ways to die. My ravens are Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory; my wolves are Freki and Geri; my horse is the gallows.

American Gods is a 2001 novel by Neil Gaiman. The novel is a blend of Americana, fantasy, and various strands of ancient and modern mythology, all centering on a mysterious and taciturn protagonist, Shadow.

Contents

Chapter 1

Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.
  • "Like I said, don't piss off those bitches in the airports," said Johnnie Larch, in the back of his mind, "or they'll haul your sorry ass back here before you can spit"

Chapter 2

  • You work for me now. You protect me. You transport me from place to place. You run errands. In an emergency, but only in an emergency, you hurt people who need to be hurt. In the unlikely event of my death, you will hold my vigil. And in return I shall make sure that your needs are adequately taken care of.

Chapter 3

  • Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.

Chapter 4

  • If I win, I get to knock your brains out. With a sledgehammer. First, you go down on your knees. Then I hit you a blow with it, so you don't get up again.

Chapter 5

All we have to believe with is our senses, the tools we use to perceive the world: our sight, our touch, our memory.
  • "This is the only country in the world," said Wednesday, into the stillness, "that worries about what it is."
    "What?"
    "The rest of them know what they are. No one ever needs to go searching for the heart of Norway. Or looks for the soul of Mozambique. They know what they are."
  • The quickest way is sometimes the longest.
    • Czernobog

Chapter 6

Lucky, lucky guy. He could fall into a cesspit and come up smelling like roses.
  • I told you I would tell you my names. This is what they call me. I'm called Glad-of-War, Grim, Raider, and Third. I am One-Eyed. I am called Highest, and True-Guesser. I am Grimnir, and I am the Hooded One. I am All-Father, and I am Gondlir Wand-Bearer. I have as many names as there are winds, as many titles as there are ways to die. My ravens are Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory; my wolves are Freki and Geri; my horse is the gallows.
  • All we have to believe with is our senses, the tools we use to perceive the world: our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted. And even if we do not believe, then still we cannot travel in any other way than the road our senses show us; and we must walk that road to the end.
  • It's easier to kill people, when you're dead yourself ... I mean, it's not such a big deal. You're not so prejudiced anymore.
    • Laura

Chapter 8

One day every soldier in the empire has to shower in the blood of your sacrificial bull. The next day they don't even remember your birthday.
  • "It's going to be a white Christmas," said Shadow as he pumped the gas.
    "Yup. Shit. That boy was one lucky son of a virgin."
    "Jesus?"
    "Lucky, lucky guy. He could fall into a cesspit and come up smelling like roses."
    • Shadow and Jacquel
  • One day every soldier in the empire has to shower in the blood of your sacrificial bull. The next day they don't even remember your birthday.
    • Jacquel
  • So yeah, Jesus does pretty good over here. But I met a guy who said he saw him hitchhiking by the side of the road in Afghanistan and nobody was stopping to give him a ride. You know? It all depends on where you are.
    • Jacquel
  • "I'll tell you something," he said, as if he had said nothing that day. "You're walking on gallows ground, and there's a rope around your neck and a raven-bird on each shoulder waiting for your eyes, and the gallows tree has deep roots, for it stretches from heaven to hell, and our world is only the branch from which the rope is swinging."
    • Mad Sweeney
  • The brief winter days leading up to Christmas were like moments of light between the winter darknesses, and they fled fast in the house of the dead.

Chapter 9

The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.
  • There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.
    • Mr. Wednesday to Shadow
  • "Some things may change," said Wednesday, abruptly. "People, however ... people stay the same. Some grifts last forever, others are swallowed soon enough by time and by the world."
  • What I say is, a town isn't a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it's got a bookstore, it knows it's not fooling a soul.
    • Hinzelmann

Chapter 10

I know an eighteenth charm, and that charm is the greatest of all, and that charm I can tell no man, for a secret that no one knows but you is the most powerful secret there can ever be.
  • There is a secret that the casinos possess, a secret they hold and guard and prize, the holiest of their mysteries. For most people do not gamble to win money, after all, although that is what is advertised, sold, claimed, and dreamed. But that is merely the easy lie that gets them through the enormous, ever-open, welcoming doors.
    The secret is this: people gamble to lose money. They come to the casinos for the moment in which they feel alive, to ride the spinning wheel and turn with the cards and lose themselves, with the coins, in the slots. They may brag about the nights they won, the money they took from the casino, but they treasure, secretly treasure, the times they lost. It's a sacrifice, of sorts.
  • And I know an eighteenth charm, and that charm is the greatest of all, and that charm I can tell no man, for a secret that no one knows but you is the most powerful secret there can ever be.
    • Mr. Wednesday

Chapter 11

  • There was a girl, and her uncle sold her, wrote Mr. Ibis in his perfect copperplate handwriting.
    That is the tale; the rest is detail.
  • There are accounts that, if we open our hearts to them, will cut us too deeply. Look — here is a good man, good by his own lights and the lights of his friends: he is faithful and true to his wife, he adores and lavishes attention on his little children, he cares about his country, he does his job punctiliously, as best he can. So, efficiently and good-naturedly, he exterminates Jews: he appreciates the music that plays in the background to pacify them; he advises the Jews not to forget their identification numbers as they go into the showers—many people, he tells them, forget their numbers, and take the wrong clothes when they come out of the showers. This calms the Jews. There will be life, they assure themselves, after the showers. Our man supervises the detail taking the bodies to the ovens; and if there is anything he feels bad about, it is that he still allows the gassing of vermin to affect him. Were he a truly good man, he knows, he would feel nothing but joy as the earth is cleansed of its pests.
  • No man, proclaimed Donne, is an Island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other’s tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature, and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived, and then, by some means or another, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life. Lives are snowflakes—forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There’s not a chance you’d mistake one for another, after a minute’s close inspection), but still unique.
  • Without individuals we see only numbers: a thousand dead, a hundred thousand dead, "casualties may rise to a million." With individual stories, the statistics become people — but even that is a lie, for the people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless. Look, see the child’s swollen, swollen belly, and the flies that crawl at the corners of his eyes, his skeletal limbs: will it make it easier for you to know his name, his age, his dreams, his fears? To see him from the inside? And if it does, are we not doing a disservice to his sister, who lies in the searing dust beside him, a distorted, distended caricature of a human child? And there, if we feel for them, are they now more important to us than a thousand other children touched by the same famine, a thousand other young lives who will soon be food for the flies’ own myriad squirming children?
    We draw our lines around these moments of pain, and remain upon our islands, and they cannot hurt us. They are covered with a smooth, safe, nacreous layer to let them slip, pearllike, from our souls without real pain.
    Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.
    A life that is, like any other, unlike any other.

Chapter 12

  • "I'm alive" said Shadow "I'm not dead. Remember?"
    "You're not dead" Laura said "But I'm not sure you're alive, either. Not really"

Chapter 13

Even for my kind, pain still hurts. If you move and act in the material world, then the material world acts on you.
Would you believe that all the gods that people have ever imagined are still with us today?
  • Even for my kind, pain still hurts. If you move and act in the material world, then the material world acts on you. Pain hurts, just as greed intoxicates and lust burns. We may not die easy and we sure as hell don't die well, but we can die. If we're still loved and remembered, something else a whole lot like us comes along and takes our place and the whole damn thing starts all over again. And if we're forgotten, we're done.
    • Mr. Wednesday
  • "It's not easy to believe."
    "I," she told him, "can believe anything. You have no idea what I can believe."
    "Really?"
    "I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen — I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it." She stopped, out of breath.
    Shadow almost took his hands off the wheel to applaud. Instead he said, "Okay. So if I tell you what I've learned you won't think that I'm a nut."
    "Maybe," she said. "Try me."
  • Would you believe that all the gods that people have ever imagined are still with us today? ... And that there are new gods out there, gods of computers and telephones and whatever, and that they all seem to think there isn't room for them both in the world. And that some kind of war is kind of likely.
  • "Gods are great," said Atsula, slowly, as if she were imparting a great secret. "But the heart is greater. For it is from our hearts they come, and to our hearts they shall return..."

Chapter 15

Neither path is safe. Which way would you walk — the way of hard truths or the way of fine lies?
  • It's easy, there's a trick to it, you do it or you die.
    • A voice in the back of Shadow's head.

Chapter 16

  • "Which path should I take?" he asked. "Which one is safe?"
    "Take one, and you cannot take the other," she said. "But neither path is safe. Which way would you walk — the way of hard truths or the way of fine lies?"
    "Truths," he said. "I've come too far for more lies."
    She looked sad. "There will be a price, then," she said.
    • Shadow & Zorya Polunochnaya
  • We do not always remember the things that do no credit to us. We justify them, cover them in bright lies or with the thick dust of forgetfulness. All of the things that Shadow had done in his life of which he was not proud, all the things he wished he had done otherwise or left undone, came at him then in a swirling storm of guilt and regret and shame, and he had nowhere to hide from them. He was as naked and as open as a corpse on a table, and dark Anubis the jackal god was his prosecutor and his persecutor.

Chapter 18

Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world.
  • None of this can actually be happening. If it makes you more comfortable, you could simply think of it as metaphor. Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you — even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition.
    Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world.
  • People believe, thought Shadow. It's what people do. They believe. And then they will not take responsibility for their beliefs; they conjure things, and do not trust the conjurations. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe: and it is that belief, that rock-solid belief, that makes things happen.
  • "This is a bad land for gods," said Shadow. As an opening statement it wasn't Friends, Romans, countrymen, but it would do. "You've probably all learned that. The old gods are ignored. The new gods are as quickly taken up as they are abandoned, cast aside for the next big thing."

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:







Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message