It was 1963, and 16-year-old Bruce McAllister was sick of symbol-hunting in English class. Rather than quarrel with his teacher, he went straight to the source: McAllister mailed a crude, four-question survey to 150 novelists, asking if they intentionally planted symbolism in their work. Seventy-five authors responded. Here’s what they had to say.
Neil Gaiman is a storyteller. Not all writers are, but he is. He writes a particular type of magic, trickster magic, straight out from carnivals and shadows. Though he works in fantasy, he understands that magic! well magic is flashes and bangs and fireworks but the story is told in emotions and the relationships between two characters. His stories are more than just tales, they are truths about what it means to be human.
So yes, I deeply enjoyed American Gods. It was delightful.
happy (belated?) birthday! also: how do you like american gods? it has been recommended to me twice now and i am looking for something to read, having just finished asoiaf for the third time through.
Nope, made it by ten minutes! Thanks so much! I’m only a third of the way through American Gods. ASoIaF doesn’t have the sort of uh, fantastical element found in some of Gaiman’s works. George R.R. Martin has a very forceful, very powerful “voice” and he works by a reliable set of in-universe rules. His universe just happens have a fantasy setting.
Gaiman has a more poetic style. He writes with gravitas but ventures more into surreal, supernatural territory. Or at least that’s what I’ve seen in what I’ve read of him (The Sandman series, Neverwhere, Good Omens, and a couple miscellaneous graphic novels). I still would absolutely recommend him, but not necessarily as someone very similar to Martin! I’ll have a better sense of how they compare once I’m a bit further along, I hope!