Neil Gaiman: American Gods

What happens to the gods of immigrants when they come to America? Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is a tour through displaced mythology pitting the old world gods (and demons) like Loki and Odin against the new gods of television and the computer. Told by a wandering Shadow, perhaps a native spirit, who slowly learns about the underground network of forgotten entities stranded in the new world.
Gaiman is better known for working on comics some of which are being adapted into movies (Terry Gillian is working on one), but he has written some fine dark fantasy like Neverwhere which, like Philip Pullman‘s work, is both social commentary and metaphysical. American Gods is hard to classify; it is barely fantasy, more magical realism woven out of a tour of mythology. I think he is heading towards a view that American’s are animists – endowing their new technologies with volatile wills. Think of how we talk about computers as if they were imps with a mind of their own.