Monday, September 1, 2008 By: Suzanne

Neil Gaimon

I was turned on to Neil Gaiman by a friend several years ago who is interested spiritually in similar topics. I was discussing my love of all things mythology and she suggested American Gods. The premise of this book is basically that the gods of the past (Ra, Horus, Thor, Zeus, etc) are at war with the gods American's worship today. And no, I do not mean the Jedeo-Christian God of the Bible. NG states that the Gods of modern American society are the Internet, Cell Phone, Interstate, Commerce, Mall, etc. These entities are given physical form not unlike a human body and interact with the world. Fascinating!! The story is told through the eyes of Shadow, a man who simply wants to get back to living his own, god-free life (a common theme in Gaimon's books).

The great thing about NG is that he doesn't create another world in which to set his stories. He uses the world as we know it with an ordinary person, who's living an ordinary life and shoves him or her into some kind of parallel otherworld that really exists in our world. This person simply didn't see it until some minor thing forced it's way in to show the world in a whole new perspective.

Another wonderful novel by NG is Neverwhere. Richard follows the pattern of someone who is thrust into this world going on all around him that he never knew before. In this case the world is the London Underground and the characters are the homeless living lives we would never have conceived for the homeless we see on the streets of our cities. The big question you have to ask youself at the end of this novel is, is all that happens to Richard real or did he simply have a mental breakdown? Tell me what you think and maybe I'll say what I think!

NG has a wonderfully dry sense of humor and that is very evident in Good Omens, a book he co-wrote with Terry Pratchett. I read this a long time ago though so won't embarrass myself by writing about it.

Of course he has many other wonderful (have I praised enough?) books but he is better known for his graphic novels. This was a shock to me when I heard an interview with him on (i believe it was) Fresh Air. I've never read graphic novels; could never get into them. So being the fan of NG's that I am I decided to try one. Nope, sorry, they're still not for me.