First impressions of Gaiman


in Books and literature, Geek stuff

Trapped in a science fiction book store by a short spring downpour, I bought a copy of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. After hearing him much recommended, this is the first thing of his I’ve read. I’m enjoying the language and style of storytelling, and the similarities the premise bears to Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently books is interesting – antiquated gods existing unnoticed, having been deprived of followers by history.

There are rarely long passages that seem especially quotable, but there are lots of little fragments I like:

  • Of the security cameras in the counting room of a casino: “under the glassy stare of the cameras they can see, the insectile gazes of the tiny cameras they cannot see”
  • “There’s never been a true war that wasn’t fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe that they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.”
  • “I heard a new CIA joke. Okay: how can we be sure the CIA wasn’t involved in the Kennedy assasination? … He’s dead, isn’t he?”
  • “And the moral of this story, according to Johnnie Larch, was this: don’t piss off people who work in airports. “Are you sure it’s not something like ‘The kind of behavior that works in a specialized environment, such as prison, can fail to work and in fact become harmful when used outside such an environment?'””

‘Caracoled’ is also an interesting verb.

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