Hi, Hey, Hello!
We have reached the final book of the 2016 Reading Challenge. I actually managed to read 40 books in 366 days. Just about.
Yes, this beauty of a book was finished at some point in the afternoon of 31st December 2016. I cut it relatively fine, but I got there in the end. It’s another Gaiman and it’s another illustrated one, taking the books that I need to read from this sort of series down to one, Anansi Boys.
This book kind of felt a bit more like an extended epilogue to American Gods. It involved some Gods and a situation that could only be created by some sort if higher being. It had the elements of that story that I loved compressed into a novella.
It follows Shadow just wandering around trying to find some sort of purpose in this post-Wednesday world. It seems to echo the way that he was pre-Wednesday, just continually searching for some kind of purpose. His motives for taking this particular job seem unclear. His motives always seem unclear to me to be honest, on some level I can understand why he’s doing it but also I really don’t get it. He never seems to take jobs that will do him any good, although I think the fact that he just sort of passes through life is sort of the point of him. But he basically takes a job that throws him back into a world that comes equipped with mystery and stunning imagery.
It takes place in a castle in the Scottish highlands that is holding an event that isn’t all that it seems, which sounds exactly like the kind of situation that Shadow would find himself in. There are ancient Gods waiting in those highlands that want to see a fight to the death. Just not of the monster. Of Shadow in this instance. But obviously everyone underestimates Shadow as per and things don’t quite go to plan. The story in that sense was sort of predictable (especially because I read Black Dog first and that is set after this…) as in you know as a reader that nothing is really going to happen to Shadow.
There was also yet another mysterious female character who appeared to Shadow and then faded away and then helped him when he needed it most. Like I said, it follows something familiar and there is nothing wrong with that. Especially when it is told as well as Gaiman tells it.
Is it necessary for me to go on about the illustrations again? I don’t have enough adjectives to describe them anymore and I was arguably doing terribly with them in the first place. They beautiful (and more black pages with white writing for me to read from).
I would recommend it, and although it can be read as a standalone I think it would be better understood if it is read after American Gods because it just feels a bit more like a epilogue for that book then Black Dog does which definitely doesn’t need to be read afterwards.
Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!
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