MOTIVATION for READING: Maree suggested on Twitter that we have a July read-along for this book. I’ve been meaning to read some of Gaiman’s adult fiction since I discovered that he is one of the true “author-rock-stars” – I had no idea such a concept existed (John Green is another; perhaps Jane Austen is in that category, too?) Challenge: Personal Year of Reading Deliberately. Disclosure: I purchased this paperback from the closest big box bookstore, Borders.
WHAT’s it ABOUT: A man just getting out of prison finds that the world he hopes to return to has been altered by tragedy. He quickly and unavoidably meets some extremely interesting characters and ends up getting involved with their troubles since he has nothing else to do.
WHAT’s GOOD/NOT so good: I was reading this during my 4th of July Holiday trip and when my cousin asked if it was good, I answered, “It’s so gripping!” She took the book to read the blurbs and sure enough – the USA Today quote on the cover says, “Powerful and gripping.” I concur.
I found Shadow, the protagonist, charming and rooted for him from the very beginning to the climatic end. His wife, however, I never trusted, which is OK. Actually, this only added to my respect for Gaiman and his story-telling character-developing skills. And yes, I guessed a few plot points and chuckled at a few contrived coincidences; I thought it all worked beautifully. VERY entertaining morality tale.
“Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through their 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.” p.323
RATING: Four pie slices and an extra big bite.