Non-Required Reads with Douglas Forsythe

Douglas Forsythe

Hello, if you are reading this, then you are about to witness the beginning of a bi-weekly column where I will recommend a book I have read. These Recommendations might include novels, collections of short stories, graphic novels, or Manga. So, let’s begin. In my opinion, there is no better way to start off this than by recommending one of my personal favorites, American Gods by British author Neil Gaiman. A tale quite literally of gods among men. Here you find the main character Shadow Moon driving the mysterious figure, Mr. Wednesday (I won’t reveal his true identity), across America after being recently released from prison. A war has begun between the gods of old and new. Gods, including Anansi of Akan Folklore and Czernobog of Eastern Europe, face off against the newer gods of Media and Technology. This book is considered by many to be one of Gaiman’s best works, having won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novel. The overall story will be a fun read for fans of either Mythology, Fantasy, or even Neil Gaiman’s previous work. Like many of his previous novels, American Gods has underlying themes relating to the nature of stories and how older stories and myths are bound to be replaced by the new generations’ ever-developing myths and cultures. The story contains a series of interludes titled Coming to America, which describes how some members of the diverse cast of gods ended up in America over the years. There are many editions of the book out there, but the one I can most highly recommend is the Tenth Anniversary Edition, which contains the author’s preferred text. This edition is about 742 pages in length with a bit of bonus content. You can find many different stylized covers to choose from quite easily at a local Barnes & Noble for about $10. I would highly recommend picking up either the Pulp Edition with cover art by Robert McGinnis or one of the many covers based on the current Starz Television series, which releases its third season this year. A wonderful portrait of Americana and mythology, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of American Gods from your local bookstore.