""...when I was still of an age where a book could change me forever." -Gaiman in Acknowledgements for American Gods"
I love that quote. Gaiman is talking about Harlan Ellison's Deathbird Stories in here and the impact it left on him "burned... onto the back of [Gaiman's] head." It's sad that books, movies and other items can't have that effect on me anymore but is to be expected. Sure, every once in a while something will come along and surprise and delight me. Without that feeling I might as well just stop consuming all together. But... but it is not like it was when I once put down a book or left the theater and thought, "Shit, what the hell was that?" in an excited way. Too much deconstruction, symbol hunting and simple over thinking have generally left me with "I liked what they did with that, that was new" when I walk out of something I like.
Maybe that is why I drift toward comedy. There's still a surprise element in comedy. A life and breath. Passion for the absurd or the simple turn of phrase. And it's fun to laugh. There's always that.
So I finished American Gods, Mr. Gaiman has guided Shadow through trials and tribulations, through life and death and all around the gods. I will have a full review up soon, but I want to take the time right here to thank the author personally. This has been a difficult week and his book has provided both inspiration and distraction. No one should ask more of fiction than that.
I recommend if you are going to purchase a copy of American Gods, get the author's preferred copy with a nice interview, essay and extra bits.