Friday, March 30, 2012

American Gods

I love Neil Gaiman. A Lot. I get that you maybe don't. I do. I really do. I don't agree, but I do. I read American Gods 10 years ago when it first came out, and while it maybe wasn't EVERYTHING I wanted it to be, it was pretty damn close.

I've had more then a few people talk to me about it, and how they don't get Gaiman's books, and in particular, didn't get American Gods. Here's the thing about Gaiman - what he writes is Good Literature. He's not a writer I plow through, he's a writer I read.I admittedly read this book the day it came out - I'm not sure why I waited to write/blog my thoughts about it but I did.

Also, I feel I'm waxing poetic. Annoying. Here: Neil Gaiman. You get him or you don't.

I've always kind of loved the idea that gods do not exist on some vague eternal plane, but that they rather rise, and fall with cultures and civilizations and people and places. There's a lot of discussion about the similarities between the gods, and I love how Gaiman touches on that. I also love the idea that we have to be careful when we try and make gods into simple human forms - even putting aside my own beliefs to me the idea of simplifying our own theology is something to be careful about.

It's something of a cautionary tale - be careful what, who and how we worship, since the idea of gods lurk in our subconscious.American Gods is well worth a read. I've picked it up more then a few times over the past few years, and the 10th anniversary edition did not disappoint. I was THRILLED when I found out HBO and Gaiman are turning it into an HBO series. It's pretty much perfect for it. By pretty much, I mean totally. By totally, I mean I may just die. It's possible.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

Oh Christopher Moore. I adore you. I didn't always adore you, but I promise, I was wrong. I think I didn't always adore you because I first read Practical Demonkeeping when I was a little too young. Just a little. ok, I was 12 when I picked it up. Maybe wasn't the best call.

I'm sorry. It wasn't until I met my boyfriend and he was BLOWN AWAY I hadn't read Lamb that he pretty much gave me no option but to read it. This was 5, almost 6 years ago. So, hey. Long time coming. Apologies. I feel justified about writing this review now, because I have read Lamb since on almost a yearly basis. Yes, really. I've also since read everything Moore has written and loved it. Even Practical Demonkeeping. In particular, Fluke, A Dirty Job and The Stupidest Angel. But I digress. We're talking about Lamb. Focus.

Lamb is pretty much brilliant. I don't care if you're an Atheist, Jewish, Christian, FSM, you'll probably like it. Moore writes Comic Fantasy - Do not take him seriouslyHis novels usually involve conflicted everyman characters struggling through extraordinary circumstances - in this case, some poor schmuck who has the good (bad?) fortune of being Chirst's Childhood Best Friend. I know right?!  

The book is the parts of Joshua Bar Joseph's life that didn't make it into the bible. It starts with him constantly bringing a lizard back to life, moves on to his trying to figure out Sin (and hey, lucky Biff is the Guinea Pig) and moves onward and upward to why Jews eat Chinese food for Christmas (my mom was thrilled to finally have a rationalization).

Look, if you take your religion very conservatively, you probably shouldn't read this book. It's speculative fiction, re-interprets the life of Jesus, speculates on the gaps in the gospels and discusses the possibility of other religions being vital to the formation of Christianity.

Moore starts the book with the quote "God is a comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh" (Voltaire). He's not wrong.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions. Ellen Glasgow

I've been slack on blogging for a while. Well, two weeks (ish) but that's enough of a while for me. There are some huge life changes coming up for me, and without getting into any detail, I'll be in and out for a while.   I'm on Goodreads a fair bit, and I'm thinking new blog direction, new life direction new... everything. Change is good, right?

my read shelf:
Katie Mercer's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)