Mark Reads ‘American Gods’: Chapter 13

In the thirteenth chapter of American Gods, Shadow’s life begins to spiral into weirdness when his identity in Lakeside starts to fall apart. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read American Gods.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

what just happened

how

how am i supposed to deal with this

I can’t see a single bit of foreshadowing or clever warning from Gaiman as I think back to what leads up to that thing in this chapter. Sure, things were progressing much faster than before, but…but…WHY. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS. I think it’s even worse when you think about how adorable the opening of this chapter is. Shadow is so awkward and uncertain about dinner with his neighbor and I find it endearing. It’s satisfying to see Gaiman admit through the narration that Shadow’s own awkwardness is magnified by the fact that he spent three years in prison. As Shadow describes it:

This would be his first real social interaction with other people–normal people, not people in jail, not gods or culture heroes or dreams–since he was first arrested, over three years ago. He would have to make conversation, as Mike Ainsel.

I don’t even think that has to do with a possible attraction to Marguerite. I think Shadow is just so used to the strangeness of his life for the last three years that the prospect of normalcy is frightening to him. He has a date! Well, okay, it’s not really a date, I suppose. It’s a dinner party with Marguerite and Leon! And I don’t care: I love that he is soconcerned about what wine to bring, whether flowers are okay, and whether he’s presentable or not. He times his day around dinner! I JUST WANT TO HUG SHADOW BECAUSE THIS IS SO CUTE.

Leave it up to Wednesday to RUIN THIS MOMENT. You know, he’s rude. I’m okay saying that. I know he’s rather occupied, too. That’s sort of the point of his phone call to Shadow: he is overwhelmed by trying to wrangle up gods to his side.

In a moment of frustration, Wednesday suggests the gods should just slit their own throats, and Shadow tries to diffuse things by making a joke about it. It’s here that Wednesday finally talks about how the gods exist in the world of humans: while in the “material” world, all the same effects of human life exist for gods. He even confirms that gods can be replaced by new versions if their believers change details of what they believe in. What this does is make the plight of the old gods that much more serious. This is not simply a matter of being forgotten. This brings death. It brings depression and despair. It brings desolation.

“I just keep thinking about Thor. You never knew him. Big guy, like you. Good hearted. Not bright, but he’d give you the goddamned shirt off his back if you asked him. And he killed himself. He put a gun in his mouth and blew his head off in Philadelphia in 1932. What kind of way is that for a god to die?”

HOLY SHIT. Oh my god, that’s why Thor hasn’t been around. In this one moment, Gaiman has just changed how I view these characters. It seems they are less like gods over time and they become more like humans. That’s sort of what this book has been doing anyway, and this revelation makes me stop to acknowledge that. The world that Gaiman has built has shown us that the gods we believe in are physical beings that have their own agendas and motivations. It’s only in this world that an author can write about a negotiation meeting between gods. No, the gods are going to negotiate. I didn’t expect things to just end peacefully, but I was still excited about the prospect!

I was worried about two conflicting things at this point, though: I wanted Wednesday to go, but that would mean missing out on dinner with Marguerite. But if he stays for dinner, that means I’d miss out on the negotiation, and I want to know more about this war. Which do I want: character development or plot updates? WHY MUST I MAKE THIS DECISION?

Well, it turns out that I don’t really have to. Wednesday, first of all, orders Shadow to stay put, and he’s honestly quite pleased to do so. We do get dinner time with Marguerite! I’m not at all surprised that Shadow is good with children; Leon takes an instant liking to him, though his ability to do magic tricks certainly helps. I began to anticipate an awkward evening between the two adults (but one I would enjoy). I expected that Gaiman would take a chance to help build on the characterization of these two people. Basically, I expected pretty much everything except Sam showing up. And in an instant, things are still awkward, but now for an entirely new reason: Sam has not told her sister that she’s already met Mike Ainsel, though he told her he had a much different name back then.

Thankfully, things aren’t too bad during dinner, though I can’t deny that a fascinating dynamic passes over things. I sensed that Marguerite suspected some unspoken connection between Shadow and Sam, but never bothered to vocalize it. Of course, Sam stating that she’s going to get Shadow to take her out to a local bar and hinting that they have “lots to talk about” certainly doesn’t help. You’re not very inconspicuous, dear!

But I didn’t realize what a frightening thing this would be for Sam. There’s a man living next door to her sister who has a fake name. And she met him while hitchhiking. And she now suspects he’s some out-of-control serial killer; turns out that Shadow is wanted for the murder of the men who captured him earlier in the book. So…YEAH. That is more awkward than anything else in this chapter. Can you really blame her, either? Especially given what we learn about her characterization and her propensity to entertain nearly any idea that makes even the slightest bit of sense. And this one makes a lot of sense!

That’s the beautiful thing about Sam, though. I don’t find it at all annoying, irritating, or unrealistic that she is the way she is. It’s fantastic to me that her mind and her heart have the capacity to believe so many things at once. I might have a huge dash of cynicism in me, but I enjoyed reading her massive monologue to Shadow to prove to him that whatever he tells her about his life is something she’ll be inclined to believe. She’s not being ironic and I read this as nothing but all the literal things she believes in. Also:

“I believe that…light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead)…..”

I LOVE SCHRODINGER’S CAT REFERENCES. That is all.

The best part is that after all of this, Shadow genuinely tries to explain what’s been happening, why the FBI is coming after him, and who actually killed those two men. And when he spells it out like this, it really highlights how fucking bizarre this all is. I haven’t even personally stepped back from this story to think about it this way:

“Why would they have a war?” asked Sam. “It seems kind of redundant. What is there to win?”

“I don’t know,” admitted Shadow.

I MEAN RIGHT. Sam, you are wonderful. You distill this whole war down to a single question and it is genuinely insightful. I wanted to spend more time with this, to see what else Sam might pick up, but the two make it to the bar and very shortly…FUCK. I don’t know how it’s possible, but Audrey Burton, the widow of the man that Laura cheated with, is in that bar. She recognizes Shadow, and in an instant, his entire life in Lakeside falls apart. As soon as this happened, it felt wrong to me. What are the sheer odds that Audrey Burton is in this tiny bar in Wisconsin? How? How did she end up here? Why was it so conveniently timed as well?

Chad Mulligan–bless his heart–handles this remarkably well, and I’m reminded why he’s such a good character in the first place. He’s a man who runs a small town, and he’s prone towards trusting folks. He trusts Mike Ainsel, too, even if that is a fabricated identity in one sense. But Shadow is Mike; the only disparity between the two is the name and a somewhat-false personal history. Chad really does trust Shadow, and even when this all falls apart, I think he’s willing to acknowledge that. It’s a really mature thing for a character to do. But the way he treats Shadow throughout all of this shows that he respects the man. I mean, he takes the guy out of the bar to discuss things, rather than let the drama swell to an uncontrollable level in the bar. He gives Shadow the benefit of the doubt at the police station as well, right up until it’s confirmed that his identity is fake and he’s violated his parole.

In a way, Sam treats him the same way; perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but her passionate kiss not only visually portrays her as being #TeamShadow, obviously, but it’s a similar feeling. She intrinsically trusts him without knowing very much about him at all. What is it about Shadow’s persona that makes him this way? Is he like a gentle giant to others? Does he give off an aura of trust? Appearances only go so far, though; I think Shadow treats others with respect even if he doesn’t know them, and the favor is returned to him.

Yet things still don’t go the way Shadow would like them, and when he realizes that he’ll be in deep shit soon, he places a call to Mr. Ibis in Cairo, Illinois, and the two speak in an impromptu code to communicate the problem Shadow’s in. (Is the female voice the cat? WHO IS THAT.) I had little hope, though, that people all the way in Cairo, Illinois would be able to help Shadow in Lakeside. Even if they could contact any of the old gods nearby, what could they do?

The other shoe drops when Chad discovers that Shadow has broken the terms of his parole. What I really adore about what Gaiman does with this section is how he utilizes the culture of this small town to extend a sense of courtesy to Shadow. No one acts as if they fear Shadow, though it does help that he is cooperative and understanding to Chad and Officer Liz. The police station is a tiny affair and they generally only deal in tiny affairs as well. So it’s very realistic to me that Officer Liz is so friendly and talkative with Shadow. He poses no real threat to her, and she’s eager to speak with him and share with him the banal minutia of the Lakeside police station.

But in time, the conversation stops, and Liz falls asleep while the TV runs in the background. Never would I have thought that a television could be used to convey this kind of tension! (Well, aside from Poltergeist, because…YEAH HOLY SHIT.) Shadow had been avoiding television since his last run-in with Lucy in that hotel. Now, there’s a lone TV in a room with a sleeping police officer and Shadow can’t do anything to either turn it off or notify Liz about what’s going on. UNBEARABLE.

I just expected the gods in the TV to taunt Shadow like they did before. And they certainly start off that way, teasing Shadow with the option to switch to the “winning side.” But this time, the characters in Cheers don’t just stand around and yap about Shadow’s futile work for Wednesday. This time, the broadcast actually changes to a live feed. Or so it says, I thought. Maybe they were lying. But Shadow soon recognizes the voice of Mr. Town, and the camera cuts to an interior scene:

Two men sat at a table at the far end of the room. One of them had his back to the camera. The camera zoomed in to them awkwardly, in a series of jagged movements. For a moment they were out of focus, and then they became sharp once more. The man facing the camera got up and began to pace, like a bear on a chain. It was Wednesday. He looked as if, on some level, he was enjoying this. As they came into focus the sound came on with a pop.

It’s the negotiation meeting. Holy shit, this is real. This is actually live. Why are they showing Shadow this? Whatever, I thought. At least I get to see the meeting! And it does appear that the other side is offering some sort of truce, though Wednesday is quick to reject it, mainly out of an extreme distrust for the new gods. Shadow also notices something strange: a red “glint” on Wednesday’s glass eye. My first thought? Perhaps he was about to transform into his god form. Hadn’t we seen that before in the book?

“It’s a big country,” said Wednesday, marshaling his thoughts. He moved his head and the scarlet glitter-blur slipped to his cheek, a red laser-pointer dot.

WAIT. WAIT. WHAT??????

There was a bang, muted by the television speakers, and the side of Wednesday’s head exploded. His body tumbled backward.

NO THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN. It’s an illusion, right? You can’t just kill Odin like that, can you? I mean, Wednesday did say in this chapter that the gods were susceptible to the laws of human biology and….oh. oh my god. Oh my god. Wednesday is dead.

HOW CAN YOU DO THAT. Oh my god, GAIMAN. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE.

Shadow, LIKE MYSELF, just slips straight into shock and he’s numb when some man in a suit comes to take him away. He’s now an interest of “national security”! Oh, he is proper fucked, isn’t he? But this does give us another moment from Chad that shows us his quiet moral fortitude: he softly objects to what they’re doing to Shadow, stating that he’s uncomfortable with the way this is happening. There’s no cop car to take Shadow away; it’s a black town car. Oh god, it’s the opposition, isn’t it? And with Wednesday gone, they’ll just torture him, right? What use could they possibly have for him?

YEAH EXCEPT THEY’RE NOT. I breathed a gracious sigh of relief when the men change in the car, and Shadows knows they’re the men sent by Ibis. IT’S CZERNOBOG AND MR. NANCY!!! But that relief is short-lived. Wednesday is gone. He’s dead.

“Wednesday,” said Shadow. “Is he really dead? This isn’t some kind of trick is it?”

He realized that he had been holding on to some kind of hope, foolish though it was. But the expression on Nancy’s face told him all he needed to know, and the hope was gone.

Goddamn. What do they do now?

Coming to America
14,000 B.C.

Humankind has a history that is cyclical in nature. The story of Atsula, the holy woman of the tribe who crossed the land bridge in north America many thousands of years ago, is fiction. But it’s fiction with a point: Humankind is cyclical. We believe, we fall out of that belief, we move on to the next thing. We gain power, we exert that power over those who are powerless, we dominate, we fall. If you look at the story of Atsula, there’s a great parallel to Wednesday as well, especially in the fact that both fought for what they believed to be true, and they both died because of it.

Everything about this is part of a greater narrative, and now I’m wondering if that is what this book is ultimately going to be about. We see how Atsula stands up against Nynyunnini, defying the god’s order, but is proven wrong, and dies because of this. Is Wednesday wrong, too? Are we wrong for choosing to worship the gods of convenience? What do we leave behind as a society that becomes forgotten just like Nunyunnini?

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

This entry was posted in American Gods and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Mark Reads ‘American Gods’: Chapter 13

  1. Ryan Lohner says:

    The way I read it, Audrey was Chad's second cousin that he was attracted to. By the way, great twist that he was actually telling the truth about that and not covering his attraction to Margueritte, like probably everyone thought.

    • John Small Berries says:

      Yes, exactly.

      Gaiman didn't come right out and have Chad say "Mike, Audrey here is the cousin I told you about", but she was described the first time we met her, at the funeral, as "A small woman […] Her hair was a coppery red"; when Shadow walked into the bar in this chapter, Chad had "his arm around the shoulders of a small red-haired woman—the kissing cousin, Shadow figured." Chad called her "hon", Shadow thought "Kissing cousins" again, and so on.

  2. Noybusiness says:

    Mark, can you please answer my question on the BSG "Unfinished Business" recap?

  3. The whole "I believe" speech is just fantastic. I especially love:
    I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.

  4. cait0716 says:

    All the details make this chapter great. From Shadow buying a $20 bottle of Cabernet because he like the phrase "Life is a Cabernet" to Sam admitting that she convinced the kid to paint his jeep purple to the godawful smell of the cell. And the little bit about how you always see the same episode of a television show is so true. I saw the BSG episode "Resurrection Ship" 3 or 4 times before I saw any other episodes. The same thing happened with the episode of Lost where Kate robs the bank.

    An Egyptian god who takes the form of a cat. Gee, I wonder who that could be… 🙂

    • Andrew says:

      And the little bit about how you always see the same episode of a television show is so true.

      That line blew my fucking mind when I read the book. It's SO TRUE. Indeed.

  5. Ryan Lohner says:

    With the mention of what happened to Thor, I'm now wondering: is Loki still around? It would be kind of awesome if it's just off-handedly mentioned that he's still stuck at the center of the Earth and causing earthquakes when the venom hits him, but it would be pretty interesting to see his role in all this. He'd have to side with the Old Gods out of self-preservation, but is still the kind of guy who'd screw them over just for the hell of it.

  6. monkeybutter says:

    Outside of L&O, the one episode that I always seemed to catch was this one:

    <img src="http://i56.tinypic.com/epjj1t.gif"&gt;
    If some gods decided to taunt and convince me to switch sides using the Zhang and Gan Jin, I would do everything in my power to destroy them. And does anyone else have a habit of turning on a movie at the same exact point every time? Because the first 4-5 times I saw Cool Hand Luke, I always realized it was on during this scene

    <img src="http://i56.tinypic.com/xggia.gif"&gt;
    which is simultaneously disgusting and intriguing. I became obsessed with trying to catch the beginning, and it took me a couple of years before I finally saw him knocking over parking meters. The television god obviously has it out for me.

    I <3 you, Mr Nancy. Sam, too.

    Erny fhogyr jvgu gur Gube fgbel, Jrqarfqnl.

    • clodia_risa says:

      Jung, sberfunqbjvat uvf bja fhvpvqr? Uvf fcrpvsvp ubeevoyr qrngu? Pbzcnevat uvf gjb fbaf? Be ubj frevbhf ur’f znxvat gur cyvtug sbe gur byqre tbqf? Be fubjvat ubj irel fnq uvf yvsr vf, naq fb ubj zhpu Funqbj fubhyq zbhea uvz.

      Zna, Jrqarfqnl’f tbbq.

    • pica_scribit says:

      It's sort of beautiful to be re-reading this years later. I only half-remember a lot of the plot, but I'm seeing how all the pieces fit together, and appreciating what a subtle craftsman and master story-teller Gaiman is. This is a book that definitely needs to be read twice to be fully appreciated.

    • barnswallowkate says:

      In that first gif it looks like the guy has an Appa backpack and I am so envious.

  7. Yes, this chapter! After 400 pages of setup, suddenly things start paying off. Characters from earlier in the book you didn't think you'd see again show up. Also, Wednesday gets his head blown off. Shit just got real, and you are not prepared for the rest of this book.

  8. pennylane27 says:

    I am not sure which of these gifs best depicts my reaction when I read about Wednesday's face being blown off:

    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_loi8a85iGF1qhcfhz.gif"&gt;

    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lr4rmk1Hh51qchs69.gif"&gt;

    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpa5f7KNZJ1qzx1i5.gif"&gt;

    Maybe it's a mixture of all three. I'm pretty sure I didn't blink for like two pages straight. And by the way, thanks Gaiman for the wonderful replay. As if I didn't feel enough horror the first time.

    Good lord above what is this book.

  9. la.donna.pietra says:

    FYI, Mark, you can get the "I believe" quote printed on a shirt: http://neverwear.net/store/index.php?main_page=pr

  10. pennylane27 says:

    Also, for a second there I thought it was Laura on the phone. It made perfect sense in my head until she said "I got eyes wherever my folk walk". Then I realised that unless there were invisible zombies everywhere, it must be the cat goddess talking. Yeah.

  11. pica_scribit says:

    Oh, Mark! Your complete unpreparedness is a thing of exquisite beauty. I have friends who hated the way the plot of this book plays out, and I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS AT ALL, because this book is just made of awesome. I'm really curious to see what you'll end up thinking about it.

    And did I catch that one of the things Sam believed was that she was Atsula in a past life? I'm not sure I ever noticed that before.

  12. arctic_hare says:

    SHIT. JUST. GOT. REAL.

    You were never prepared.

    And you're still not. 😀

    – Love Sam's speech. Love Sam. She rocks.

    – Hahaha, I had forgotten that the "kissing cousin" was Audrey.

    – Shadow is just too adorable.

    – Fuck yes Czernobog and Mr. Nancy! I was also glad to hear from Mr. Ibis, even if it was just over the phone.

    Nalbar ryfr abgvpr gung yvar bs Funqbj'f gb Yrba, nobhg ubj vs lbh sbphf ba lbhe evtug unaq, ab bar jvyy abgvpr lbhe yrsg? Zrguvaxf ur fubhyq'ir gnxra n tynapr ng Jrqarfqnl'f…

  13. @threeparts says:

    Oh my god.

    Wednesday.

    Lbh ner fhpu na nff.

    V ybir ubj Znex znantrf gb zvff rirel cvrpr bs sberfunqbjvat va gur qnza obbx. Abg rira n zragvba va gur erivrj nobhg Uvamryznaa qnzzvat gur zvyy-cbaq, be gur zvffvat puvyqera, be Funqbj'f jbeqf gb Yrba nf ur'f grnpuvat uvz zvfqverpgvba, be rira ernyvfngvba bs gur pbaarpgvba orgjrra Ngfhyn naq Fnz'f oryvrs va ure cerivbhf yvsr sebz whfg n srj cntrf orsber. V nz fb ybbxvat sbejneq gur zbzrag jura vg nyy pyvpxf.

    • jaccairn says:

      that leet key decoder is handy but can get confusing if you forget which bit you've just decoded if you're rereading and think someone's spoiling. Apologies to the mods for unnecessary reporting. I don't suppose there's any way to recall such things?

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      Ur vf frevbhfyl zvffvat nyy gur sberfunqbjvat! Bu, Ybeq, ur'f tbvat gb arrq gb er-ernq guvf yvxr UC, vfa'g ur?

    • clodia_risa says:

      Be gur obbx! Ur’f zvffvat rirel fvatyr guvat nobhg gung obbx gung ur xrrcf pneelvat nebhaq!

  14. notemily says:

    Hey look at me, I'm all caught up and can actually participate in this discussion in real time! It actually took a LOT of willpower for me to not read past this chapter this weekend. MARK HOW U DO THIS.

    AAAH omg the endgame is so close, I can feel it. Wednesday was shot! What the fuck! On "Live TV"! At least Shadow got rescued by dudes he knows and not Mr. World's guys. But still, man, his quiet little life in Lakeside brought down by Audrey Burton. Naq whfg jura ur jnf trggvat gb gur tbbq cneg bs uvf obbx.

    I really wish there was an annotated version of American Gods, or an Annotated Gaiman File on the internet (similar to the Annotated Pratchett File for Discworld). There's so much else I want to know about all of these gods, and the significance of certain things that aren't fully explained, and I don't think it would take away from the magic of the book AT ALL to have everything spelled out. Not for me, anyway. I'm the kind of person who will pause while I'm reading the book to go look up a reference I don't get online, because it enriches the experience for me to know as much as possible about what's being said.

    The "Coming to America" bit in this chapter, for example. Where did he get the details? Drinking concentrated psychedelic mushroom pee? A disaster that would have wiped out the tribe–what was the flash of light and sound they saw? An asteroid hitting the Earth? A volcano exploding? THESE ARE THINGS I WANT TO KNOW.

    • vannevar says:

      The mushroom pee is pretty well known (I think there are shamans that still do it today?) — almost any essay on the fly agaric mushroom has a reference to it. I myself first came across it while writing a scholarly essay about Dionysus — apparently the mushroom can cause convulsions, and Dionysiac cultists were often described as twitching and jerking as they danced, so some scholars believe that was one of the possible influences they were under (other than lots and lots of wine, of course).

    • la.donna.pietra says:

      There are several good AG references out there, but you'll probably want to hold off on reading them until you're finished, as they're spoiler-tastic by definition.

      Gaiman is one of the best-read people I know of. He gets this stuff from decades of hoovering up random bits of human culture (mythology, literature, religion, etc.) and synthesizing them in fascinating ways. You can see some of his earliest ideas down this general line in The Sandman.

      Beyond that, I can tell you that 1) the concentrated psychedelic mushroom pee is something that shamans in Siberia have done for centuries with amanita mushrooms (specifically, fly agarics, and do NOT try this at home), and 2) there was a volcanic explosion about 70K years ago that almost nuked humanity entirely. Gaiman is mixing and matching bits of early human development here, but it works.

    • BattleSheep says:

      If you've ever seen pictures of Neil Gaiman's library, you'd have no doubt as to how much stuff is just floating around in his brain. Seriously, check it out: http://blog.shelfari.com/ronbrinkmann/2009/08/gai

      The most awesome part? That's only ONE of the libraries. Apparently he also has an upstairs library as well. o_o

      • arctic_hare says:

        Damn, I want that library. o_o

        (I love how I spotted a Pratchett book *before* enlarging the image.)

        (Huh, he has three copies of Dogsbody. And two of Archer's Goon. NOT THAT I BLAME HIM.)

        • notemily says:

          Dogsbody is so amazing and nobody has heard of it. I'm glad Neil shares my proclivity. Which image is that in?

          • arctic_hare says:

            I've heard of it, and I LOVE IT. I think in his tribute post to DWJ he said he was going to write an introduction for it, which makes me less surprised that he has multiple copies of it. Archer's Goon is wonderful too, hnnngh. AND OF COURSE HE HAS DEEP SECRET, AHAHAHAHA. (Although I think, of the two of us, I have the edition with the superior cover. Charles Vess ftw. Also quite appropriate on another level, considering.) I spotted his copies of her books in this picture.

        • notemily says:

          Never mind, found it. I have to admit I'd get three copies of that book if I could. It's not even in print anymore… WAIT!

          I went to Amazon to confirm that it's not in print, and there is a new edition coming out with an introduction by Neil! That explains why he has so many copies and is also THE AWESOMEST THING EVER and I am totally pre-ordering that.

          • arctic_hare says:

            Yep, that's the edition I mentioned! 😀 I NEED IT TOO.

            ETA: HOLY SHIT NEW EDITION OF FIRE AND HEMLOCK TOO. AND TALE OF TIME CITY, WHICH I STILL NEED TO READ. THIS IS AMAZING, I HOPE THEY WILL DO THIS FOR EVERYTHING SHE EVER WROTE. <3

      • pennylane27 says:

        I love how he has books EVERYWHERE. One day, my house will be like that too.

      • notemily says:

        OH MY GOD. He has a book called SUN SIGNS FOR WRITERS. DOES THIS MEAN HE KNOWS ALL OF HIS CHARACTERS' ASTROLOGICAL SIGNS. THIS IS THE BEST EVER.

        I used to be SO into astrology when I was a kid, and everyone I knew told me how dumb I was for believing in things that had no scientific basis, but I loved it anyway. NEIL YOU HAVE VALIDATED MY LIFE CHOICES.

  15. t09yavosaur says:

    http://www.hypable.com/hunger-games/2011/10/10/in

    Mark is mentioned in the first comment. 😛

  16. arctic_hare says:

    ooh, banner. Me likey! 😀 Excellent, whoever made it! Although, oddly, it doesn't display here in the review, only on the main page.

  17. ChronicReader91 says:

    I see we’ve reached the HOLY CRAP COULD ANYTHING ELSE GO WRONG? part of the book.

    So much love for Sam. Every moment in this book with her in it is sheer perfection.

    And much love to Chad Mulligan, too, for being so professional and reasonable and concerned about Shadow even after knowing he was wanted. I can even forgive him for inviting Audrey to Lakeside and setting everything off.

    Well, crap. I kind of expected Wednesday to die, but not until much later. But they killed him. Just like that. THEY KILLED ODIN. HOW CAN YOU DO THAT. I mean, I understand that they can suffer physical harm the same way that humans can (and I’m so disappointed that we won’t get to meet Thor), but if the gods are kept alive by belief, what if they die physically but someone still believes in them? Do they get “resurrected”?

    Nancy and Czernobog! And Ibis and Bastet over the phone! It's a bunch of godly cameos!

  18. pennylane27 says:

    YAY BANNER!

    I actually said that out loud.

  19. Shiroikami says:

    You are so very very unprepared. There are really no words for the unpreparedness of anyone reading this book for the first time.

    That said, I think the next chapter is probably my favorite in the entire book. Well, the next chapter, the last chapter and the epilogue, really. Nyy orpnhfr V’z n uhtr sna bs gur ybat pba, naq Tnvzna’f qrcvpgvba/punenpgrevmngvba bs Ybxv vf fb cresrpg gung V pnaabg pbzcynva nobhg gur qrivngvba sebz gur zlgubybtl va juvpu ur naq Bqva ner onfvpnyyl zbegny rarzvrf.

    Nyfb, Jrqarfqnl’f zragvba bs Gube xvyyvat uvzfrys? Univat ernq guvf obbx, V pna’g uryc ohg jbaqre vs gung jnf cneg bs Jrqarfqnl naq Ybxv’f tnzr, be vs vg jnf gur gevttre sbe gurz gb fgneg guvf jne sbe cbjre naq oryvrs. Be obgu. Vg pbhyq nyjnlf or obgu.

    • echinodermata says:

      The first part of your comment was an expectation spoiler (which I edited out) – anything that's along the lines of 'you are unprepared for this specific part' means that once seeing such a comment there's a certain anticipation that alters the way one approaches that specific part. It's rule #3 under the spoilers section of the site rules.

      You can say 'you are unprepared' in a general sense, just don't specify any specific upcoming point.

  20. angelllla24 says:

    <img src="http://i1115.photobucket.com/albums/k558/angelllla24/741.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    i painted this on my apartment wall in 2002 after i read American Gods the very first time!!

    [IMG ]http://i1115.photobucket.com/albums/k558/angelllla24/739.jpg[/IMG]
    http://i1115.photobucket.com/albums/k558/angellll

    • angelllla24 says:

      wait, i think i messed up posting that? Im sorry if i jacked it up or posted wrong, i suck at computers.

    • pica_scribit says:

      That must have taken time and dedication!

      • angelllla24 says:

        yes it took weeks and weeks, but it looked so cool, it was the entire wall. i refused to paint over it when i moved out. well it was an underground college-party-hosting apartment, we weren't getting our deposit back anyways.

  21. episkey825 says:

    So I am way behind reading American Gods chapter by chapter and nobody is going to see this comment, but I have to say this (in rot13 for Game of Thrones spoilers):

    V unq gb qrny jvgu gur qrngu bs Jrqarfqnl NAQ Arq Fgnex nyy va gur fnzr jrrx!

    SD;KFJASD;FKASD;FKJ ASD;KLFJ ;AKSDFJ ;ASKDLFJ

    Keysmash Forever!

Comments are closed.