Mark Reads ‘American Gods’: Chapter 17

In the seventeenth chapter of American Gods, the gods assemble for the storm. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read American Gods.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Oh. Shit just got so goddamn real, y’all. Good lord, until the end of this chapter, Shadow’s death was the last thing on my mind. I had begun to worry that we wouldn’t see much of the buildup to the war between the gods, but Gaiman gives us every bit of set up to it, and it’s weird, disturbing, and shocking.

We open things at the most important place in the southeastern United States: Rock City, located in Georgia, a very real place that I have wanted to go to for a while. This is the set up for the war between the gods, and I can’t imagine a better place for Gaiman to set up his final battle. It’s half geological wonder, half tourist trap, and all American. And that’s not an insult or a jest. If there is to be a war between the gods in America, the top of Lookout Mountain is appropriate. I am also glad that Gaiman makes sure to include the very American history attached to the place and refers to it as “a cheerful gesture of casual genocide.” This is what the Trail of Tears was in this sense, an act of genocide so casually acted out that those who perpetrated it believed it was actually a service to the Native Americans who lived there. (This is grossly summarizing this entire act, which took place over the course of eight years, and I implore all of you to research this period in U.S. history.)

It’s at this site where the gods begin pouring in, and I love how surreal this is. I love the idea of creatures and beings and gods and people who look like people and people who sort of look like people begin to congregate in one area, all very familiar with why they are coming here. Gaiman basically dumps so many gods and deities into our laps here; as I mentioned before, I can’t even conceive of how much research must have gone into this book. It’s fascinating to me how these gods, many who have existed for hundreds of thousands of years, are contrasted with elements of American society, like limos and a Toyota Previa, with U-Hauls and fast food. This place in Georgia is now witness to the most bizarre collision of culture, religion, and mythology imaginable.

But this chapter only gets weirder. We cut over to Laura’s point of view, just after she leaves Shadow on the tree where he dies. It’s the longest section from her perspective that we’ve gotten in American Gods, and it helps us to understand just how awful it is for her to be walking around as a dead woman. Her love for her husband is still just as strong as ever, maybe even more after she witnesses him become truly alive for the first time on that tree. She obeys him and heads off to the farmhouse nearby to get water, and it’s here that Laura is changed.

I was horrified to find out that Laura is basically sneezing up and spitting out maggots. Death still continues in its normal process, apparently; her body is still rotting while she’s walking about. Which…good god, that is so disturbing to me. But not as disturbing as the water scene!

See, Laura is always thirsty, and she describes her existence as one where pain is always from the absence of something. So she finds the three women (the Three Sisters from earlier) in the farmhouse, and they give her water to drink. BUT IT’S NOT JUST ANY OLD WATER! I admit to being utterly lost and confused as she began to essentially throw up and pee DEATH. Well, her death. Her body starts to expel the death that is inside her, and memories of her life spill into her mind. This was water from Urd’s Well, Gaiman tells us, and it is the water of time. I have no idea what this does to Laura beyond one immutable fact: she is alive again. She can bleed and spit, and it is real blood and saliva.

Yeah, what the hell just happened to her?

The crowd at Rock City continues to grow. What are they all waiting for? I wondered. I can’t imagine a more bizarre sight, especially if you knew these gods were going to battle until the death at some point. They’re all just standing around? Could you imagine being the one random tourist there that day? I mean, what if you walked by the creature with the scalpel-bladed cancer face? Well, I suppose you’d see his human form, but still! Basically, you’d have the best vacation ever.

One crucial god is missing from this, though. Mister Town is hundreds of miles away, on an errand for Mister World. He must find a tree, cut a branch off of it, and deliver to Mister World in Chattanooga. There really could only be one tree that Mister World was talking about, right? But I don’t think Gaiman was banking on us not picking this up; what’s more important is the why. Why does Mister World need a stick from the tree where Shadow held his vigil of Wednesday?

I did not even pay attention to this detail until I finished the chapter, but I want to stick it here to discuss later:

When he was opposite Shadow, he paused. “God, I hate you,” he said. He wished he could just have taken out a gun and shot him, and he knew that he could not. And then he jabbed the stick in the air toward the hanging man, in a stabbing motion. It was an instinctive gesture, containing all the frustration and rage inside Town. He imagined that he was holding a spear and twisting it into Shadow’s guts.

Oh, Gaiman, I see what you did here. We’ll come back to that in a bit. I can’t say I fully understand what happens to Town next, but it seems that he experiences two timelines at the exact same moment when he looks into the farmhouse, and then again when he gets back into his car. And I think there’s something at work here, but I can’t explain it. Why did Shadow suddenly start bleeding? I wondered.

Actually, that’s basically what I turned into: one dude full of a thousand questions. Why does Horus show up to Easter and ask for her help? Doesn’t he already know that Shadow has died? Why is he so insistent that Shadow needs to be saved, regardless of how the war turns out? Did Shadow’s death take place in a different time stream or something? JFC, why do I put everything into terms that make it sound like I’m watching Doctor Who? Why on earth does Mister Town keep returning to the farm where Shadow died, no matter how many different roads he takes away from the place? DOES LAURA KNOW WHO THIS MAN IS WHEN SHE GETS IN THE CAR WITH MISTER TOWN? oh my god LAURA AND MISTER TOWN ARE IN THE SAME CAR AS;DLKFJ A;K;lkajf ads;lkj ads;lkfjasdff;lkafjsd

But look. SERIOUSLY. Nothing in this chapter quite allows Gaiman to tell us how fucking unprepared we are for the end of American Gods than the final scene between the god of Internet and Mister World. I’m still not entirely sure why Mister Town and Mister World are named they way they are. Is that what they’re gods of? Are they actually gods of something else? I do understand that Mister World seems to be in charge. For what reason I have no clue. But that’s the role he plays, so the kids from the limo, the whiny, entitled asshole who I kind of despise, meets up with Mister World to discuss something that’s been bugging him.

Gaiman had planted this seed all the way back in that hotel where the old gods retrieved Wednesday’s body, so despite disliking this god, I was still interested to see why he was upset. I’d not made the connection between the kid’s attitude and his murder of Bilquis, but it turns out he is “troubled” by killing her.

“But. They’ll die out anyway. They are passenger pigeons and thylacines. Yes? Who cares? This way, it’s going to be a bloodbath. If we just wait them out, we get the whole thing.”

Okay, what’s “the whole thing”? How would the not get it through a war?

“I’m being. You know. The voice of reason here.”

“You are indeed. Unfortunately, there is information you do not have.” The smile that followed was twisted and scarred.

The boy blinked. He said, “Mister World? What happened to your lips?”

World sighed. “The truth of the matter,” he said, “is that somebody sewed them together. A long time ago.”

OKAY WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON. What information do we not have? I mean, this kid’s concern is valid as far as I know. It’s been bothering me, too. Why not just let the old gods expire? Why annihilate them? And WHY WERE MISTER WORLD’S LIPS SEWED SHUT?

I worried we wouldn’t get an answer out of World, especially when he tells the kid god that he’d have to kill him if he revealed his secret. BOOOOOO DO NOT COP OUT, I thought. And then it was if Gaiman knew I’d yell that at him, and he gives me exactly what I want:

“Well,” said Mr. World,” seeing that we’re friends, here’s the answer: I’m going to take the stick, and I’m going to throw it over the armies as they come together. As I throw it, it will become a spear. And then, as the spear arcs over the battle, I’m going to shout, ‘I dedicate this battle to Odin.'”

“Huh?” said the fat kid. “Why?”

“Power,” said Mr. World. He scratched his chin. “And food. A combination of the two. You see, the outcome of the battle is unimportant. What matters is the chaos, and the slaughter.”

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANY OF THIS. 

Neither does the god of the Internet and technology. So Mr. World demonstrates it for him! BY SHOVING A HUNTER’S KNIFE IN BELOW HIS CHIN AND DEDICATING IT TO ODIN. And the kid doesn’t bleed? And he like…shorts out???? WHAT THE HOLY FUCK JUST HAPPENED.

But this is made a thousand times creepier with the last sentence:

For a little while there was silence in that place. And then a gruff voice which was not Mr. World’s cleared its throat in the shadows, and said, Good start.”

WHAT THE HOLY FUCK IS HAPPENING someone please hold me

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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86 Responses to Mark Reads ‘American Gods’: Chapter 17

  1. Maya says:

    Seriously, my childhood nightmares were all about having my lips sewn together. I saw a painting when I visited Congress when I was like 5 that had some guy having his lips forcibly sewn shut, and it gave me nightmares FOR YEARS. And then I saw it like two years ago at the American History Museum and I was like OH HEY THERE IT IS THANKS FOR LETTING ME SEE IT AGAIN.

    So basically, I couldn't make it past that line without shuddering a billion times. THANKS A LOT NEIL GAIMAN.

  2. pica_scribit says:

    So eternally unprepared. Although there is some stuff here I'm surprised you didn't pick up on, given some of your observations from previous chapters.

    • cait0716 says:

      Right! And now I can't comment on the hints because of spoilers.

      • Saphling says:

        I'm in the same boat. It seems like I just have to bite my tongue and grin to myself until everything becomes clear. ^_^

        • Me too! I wasn't sure whether pulling specific sentences from this chapter and the past was counted as a spoiler since they are things that were already read and fairly explicitly lay out the connection. I decided to err on the side of caution. Plus that will make Mark's moment of revelation all the more epic. 😉

  3. cait0716 says:

    Mark, you are so close. I just want you to figure everything out. Soon all will be made clear and your head will explode at the brilliance of it.

    The descriptions of the internet kid in this chapter had me thinking of Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. I wonder if he could be convinced to reprise that role for the TV series, assuming they insert a god of Facebook/social networking, which I think would make sense.

    There are so many gods in this chapter. I can never figure out all of them. But it's fun to see this convention of gods forming. Gaiman's knowledge of mythology is impressive.

  4. knut_knut says:

    heh heh heh

  5. Saphling says:

    Ahahahahahahahahahhahahaha.

    There is nothing I can say to your review that isn't a spoiler. Oh Mark. Prepared, you are not.

  6. chrisjpardo says:

    Oh man, my 'creative writing' story for my English GCSE 11 years ago ended with a voice from the shadows asking "Did he fall for it?" STOP STEALING MY CLICHÉD TWISTS, GAIMAN.

  7. pennylane27 says:

    rot13-ing this just in case: Vfa'g Ze. Jbeyq Ybxv? Gbja fnvq ur cynlrq punhssrhe va Xnafnf, naq uvf yvcf unq orra frja, fb… lrnu, V guvax vg'f uvz, ohg V fgvyy qba'g haqrefgnaq jung ur'f qbvat.

    The implications of Shadow dying hung from a tree and now having a wound in the side of his chest are making my head swirl with unfinished thoughts. I still can't put everything together.

    I don't see what Easter can do about Shadow. I don't understand anything. Someone hold me.

    • pica_scribit says:

      Lrf, ohg nccneragyl Znex unf abg lrg znqr gung pbaarpgvba.

    • cait0716 says:

      Lrnu, V'z ernyyl fhecevfrq Znex qvqa'g cvpx hc ba gung. Ur unf gb trg vg va gur arkg puncgre, gubhtu. Vg'f gbb boivbhf gb vtaber gura

      *holds* This is one of those book where it's okay to not understand everything. Even after several re-reads parts of it don't make sense. In a good way

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      Fzneg. Irel fzneg.

      The trick to working out anything, is think "what can this god do? What's his power?" Think about Easter. Not just the modern concept, and not just the original Christian, not just the pagan idea. What does it stand for?

  8. Mark, your lack of preparedness fills me with glee, for I am masochistic like that. *rubs hands*

  9. clodia_risa says:

    I think I can laugh openly at you now for being unprepared. Mark, please take it as lovingly, as it is entirely empathetic.

    MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Bu zna, V jnf fher ur’q trg jub Ze. Jbeyq jnf ol abj. V gubhtug gubfr fpneerq yvcf naq gur ersreraprf gb Bqva jbhyq unir qbar vg. Nz V fbeel gb or jebat, ABG NG NYY. Guvf vf qryvpvbhf.

    Poor Mark, your brain explosions are just too fun.

  10. bearshorty says:

    Reading this book the second time is infinitelly better just to see so many clues layed out. It also helped that I read more mythology stories after the first time I read this book and I can see all the clues more clearly.

  11. FuTeffla says:

    *cackles and rubs hands* Oh, Mark. You are not prepared. I cannot wait.

  12. MidnightLurker says:

    A reading suggestion re: the Trail of Tears — Eric Flint's alternate history series "Trail of Glory." (Two books so far; "1812: The Rivers of War" and "1824: The Arkansas War.")

    …I suspect you might also enjoy Flint's epic time-travel alternate history franchise, the 1632 series. Which is over twenty books in less than ten years now. Closer to fifty if you count the online-only anthologies.

  13. Albion19 says:

    So not prepared.

    This has made me wonder though: sebz ernqvat Znex'f erivrjf ur qbrfa'g frrz gb xabj zhpu nobhg zlgubybtl naq V pna'g uryc guvax vg'f n qenj onpx. V ybir zlgubybtl naq gurer'f fb zhpu bs vg va guvf obbx gung V gbbx cyrnfher va frrvat. Znex dhbgrf gur yvc frjvat guvat V xarj vg jnf nobhg Ybxv naq jnf obhapvat nebhaq va rkpvgrzrag. Znex qbrfa'g fb vf uvf ernqvat rkcrevrapr ynpxvat va BZT/JGS ernpgvbaf orpnhfr bs gung? V zrna Tnvzna pna'g rkcrpg nyy uvf ernqref gb or zlgu ybiref.

    • knut_knut says:

      V xarj ABGUVAT nobhg Abefr Zlgubybtl orsber V ernq Nzrevpna Tbqf (V xarj Gube = Guhaqre naq V’q urneq bs Bqva naq Ybxv ohg gurl jrer whfg anzrf gb zr naq uryq ab zrnavat) naq V jnf FBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB haoryvrinoyl pbashfrq. Vg urycf gung Tnvzna xvaq bs fcryyf bhg gur vzcbegnag cnegf, ohg zl svefg ernq jnf qrsvavgryl n tvnag onyy bs pbashfvba naq zvaq shpxrel. V fgvyy ernyyl rawblrq gur obbx, gubhtu, naq rirel gvzr V ernq vg V trg guvf hetr gb YRNEA RIRELGUVAT nobhg gur Abefr cnagurba (rkprcg V arire xabj jurer gb fgneg naq gura dhvg orsber V rira ortva). V qba’g guvax lbh arrq n ybg bs xabjyrqtr pbzvat vagb NT, ohg vg qrsvavgryl urycf gb unir ng yrnfg n inthr haqrefgnaqvat.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Lrnu, ohg V qba'g guvax vg znggref fb zhpu vs gur ernqref pna'g svther guvatf bhg orsber gurl'er erirnyrq va gur fgbel, bayl gung vg znxrf frafr bapr gurl ner. Rira gur crbcyr jub ner ernqvat nybat jvgu Znex sbe gur svefg gvzr ner svthevat guvatf bhg ng qvssrerag cnprf, naq gurl frrz gb or rawblvat gurzfryirf. Gb or ubarfg, gubhtu, V guvax guvf abiry vf rnfvre vs lbh'ir ernq gur Fnaqzna svefg fvapr vg vagebqhprf lbh gb n ybg bs gurfr punenpgref naq zlgubybtvrf.

      • Albion19 says:

        V ernq Fnaqzna svefg naq V'z tynq V qvq sbe gung ernfba.

        • Saphling says:

          Ernqvat Fnaqzna svefg jbhyq'ir yvxryl tvira dhvgr n ovg njnl nobhg Ybxv va guvf obbx, vs Znex unq ernq vg svefg (naq erzrzorerq gur qrgnvyf). Vs lbh tbbtyr vzntrf sbe "tnvzna fnaqzna ybxv," gur svefg vzntr gung fubjf hc vf gur cntr V'z gnyxvat nobhg.

    • jaccairn says:

      No, but it gives you the opportunity to research then reread the book and find something new each time.

    • cait0716 says:

      Znex frrzrq gb xabj rabhtu nobhg zlgubybtl gb chg gbtrgure Bqva snveyl rneyl. Abg sebz gur anzr, ohg ur xarj nobhg gur unatvat naq gur fpne ba uvf fvqr sebz gur fgnoovat. Be znlor ur jnf whfg chyyvat gung sebz gur pbzvat gb Nzrevpn fgbel? Rvgure jnl, V guvax uvf oenva whfg pnaabg unaqyr Jrqarfqnl naq Ybxv orvat va guvf gbtrgure fb uvf oenva'f va qravny nobhg gur pyhrf va guvf puncgre.

      V xarj abguvat nobhg zlgubybtl gur svefg gvzr V ernq guvf obbx, naq vg ernyyl fcnexrq na vagrerfg va zr. Fb V'ir orra rawblvat vg zber ba er-ernqf. Ohg V yvxrq vg rabhtu gur svefg gvzr gb frrx bhg zber Tnvzna, juvpu vf cebonoyl n tbbq vaqvpngbe bs gur fhpprff bs guvf obbx

  14. ChronicReader91 says:

    OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG I think I’ve got it figured out. Or at least part of it.

    BX, svefg bs nyy: Ze. Jbeyq jnf rnfvyl nzhfrq. Ze. Gbja unq abgvprq guvf ba frireny bppnfvbaf. Vg unq nzhfrq uvz gb cynl punhssrhe, va Xnafnf, nsgre nyy.

    NFQ;TTWUSUWUTYSGY ZE. JBEYQ VF YBJ XRL/ YBXV. YBXV VF ZE JBEYQ.

    Jura V jnf ernqvat nobhg qrqvpngvat gur qrnguf gb Bqva, V fhqqrayl erzrzorerq Jrqarfqnl gnyxvat nobhg ubj fnpevsvprf tnir uvz cbjre, naq vg uvg zr. Fb n qrngu qrqvpngrq gb uvz onfvpnyyl vf n fnpevsvpr, evtug? Fb ol qrqvpngvat gur qrngu bs gur grpuavpny tbq, naq nalbar jub qvrf va gur onggyr, gb uvz, YBXV VF GELVAT GB ERFHEERPG UVZ. Evtug? V qba’g xabj jub gur ibvpr sebz gur funqbjf jnf… nabgure Abefr Tbq? Znlor Gube vf npghnyyl nyvir nsgre nyy? Naq V fgvyy qba’g xabj jung gur vzcbegnapr vf bs Funqbj onfvpnyyl eryvivat Bqva’f rkcrevrapr (unatvat sebz gur gerr, trggvat n jbhaq va uvf fvqr). Ohg V xabj guvf unf gb or vzcbegnag fbzrubj.

    • notemily says:

      Lbh cvpxrq hc ba gur fragrapr gung Znex pbzcyrgryl vtaberq. Tbbq sbe lbh 🙂

      On second thought I am rot-13ing this. Just in case

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      *fzvyrf rivyyl*

      Lbh unir qbar jryy, ncceragvpr, ohg lbh fgvyy unir fbzr jnlf gb tb.

      What? You wanted more information? Sorry, no can do, I have to stay ambiguous.

  15. notemily says:

    Weird gods:

    All I could think of when I read about the huge ape creature with orange fur was gur Qvfpjbeyq Yvoenevna.

    WHAT IS THE THING WITH THE SCALPEL BLADES. The God of plastic surgery? The God of cancer? The God of modern medicine? I don't even know.

    "…a disembodied head the size of a VW bug." YOU GUYS, THE FACE OF BOE IS THERE.

    Other things:

    Since every story we've heard about Odin has involved both the hanging AND the spear-stabbing, I think the fact that Mr. Town imagines stabbing Shadow and then Shadow actually begins to bleed is essential somehow to Wednesday's vigil. You have to have the hanging and the stabbing; just one isn't enough.

    Horus spending too long a bird and forgetting how to be a man makes me think of Tobias from Animorphs. *cough*

    This chapter is hard to talk about because the pieces of the puzzle are coming together, but they're not QUITE there yet… and there are some huge glaring neon signs that Mark failed to pick up on, so now I can't talk about anything. MARK YOU NEED TO READ MORE CAREFULLY OR SLOWLY OR SOMETHING

    Also WHAT IS THE THING TALKING IN THE DARKNESS. For the life of me I can't remember.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      Gur Yvoenevna vf njrfbzr. Ur'f zl snibhevgr jvmneq ba gur Qvfp.

      Ohg vf ur n fcbvyre? Ur orpbzrf na ncr yrff guna n puncgre vagb gur svefg obbx!

      • notemily says:

        Ohg Znex unfa'g ernq gung puncgre lrg, fb lrf, vg vf n fcbvyre nppbeqvat gb Znex Fcbvyre Ehyrf, juvpu ner engure fgevpgre guna Abezny Fcbvyre Ehyrf.

        • Elexus Calcearius says:

          V fhccbfr. Fgvyy, gb zr vgf nobhg nf fcbvyre-l nf xabjvat gung Uneel jnf n jvmneq, be gung gur Qbpgbe unq n oyhr obk.

          (Yby, V'z trggvat ynk ba zl fcbvyre cbyvpl, znxrf fher V qba'g yrg nalguvat fyvc!)

    • monkeybutter says:

      Why won't my reply post, ID is making me sad.

      omg yes to the Face of Boe and gur Qvfpjbeyq Yvoenevna! He could totally straighten things out in no time.

    • cait0716 says:

      Jnfa'g gur thl gnyxvat va gur qnexarff n cnegvnyyl-erfheerpgrq Bqva? Ng yrnfg gur tubfg bs uvz

      I cannot figure out the cancerous thing with the scalpels, either. Plastic surgery sort of makes sense, but I'd expect something beautiful, not cancerous. And I don't really see cancer being a god. Unless it's large and pink and gains power in October. But that's a bit too modern of a reference for this book.

      • notemily says:

        It could be like, the MODERN view of cancer, though. Radiation treatments and chemo and surgery and stuff. As opposed to just dying like people used to do. I dunno, I'm just trying to make it make sense in my head 😛

        • cait0716 says:

          So, like, Cancer research? I think that might work.

        • Gemi says:

          OMG NO that does make sense! It makes me think of that description of gods being the way people made sense of the shadows (something like that???), and how humanity created gods for death and fearsome things, not just things we would love. The steps of cancer treatment would almost seem like its own ritual, wouldn't it? All these things we do, all the devotion we put into it, to screen for and treat and alleviate the suffering of cancer…

    • knut_knut says:

      I love you forever for suggesting that gur Qvfpjbeyq Yvoenevna and the Face of Boe are at this gods party! <3 <3 <3 And bonus points for Animorphs! I need to track down those books

      Qb lbh zrna gur thl gnyxvat ng gur irel raq gb Ybxv? Vfa’g gung Jrqarfqnl?

    • t09yavorsaur says:

      About the tree hanging:

      V'q fnl vg nyfb pbhyq or n Wrfhf cnenyyry guvat. Wrfhf jnf uhat ba gur pebff, fcrnerq naq gura jnf erfherpgrq. (V qba'g xabj vg gurer vf nalguvat va gur Bqva gnyr nobhg erfherpgvba) Naq Ubehf jrag gb trg Rnfgre.

    • All I could think of when I read about the huge ape creature with orange fur was gur Qvfpjbeyq Yvoenevna.

      I thought of that and then I thought that this could be some part of native Malay culture that I am woefully ignorant of and aaaaargh. Must find out

  16. shannon says:

    Regarding the research for this book, I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned but gaiman is the author of the Sandman books. Probably most of the mythology stuff was already laying around his house after years of that. And if you haven’t read the Sandman graphic novels, you really really should. Beautiful, haunting work.

  17. Noybusiness says:

    My comment! Where is it?

  18. Oh, Trail of Tears, hello again.

    1. The Trail of Tears is directly responsible for my life (because some of my ancestors were Cherokees and Choctaws in the southeast US who walked to Oklahoma and hooked up with the Scotch-Irish-Canadian Civil War deserters who were living here and a couple hundred years later ta-da here I am).
    2. I think, really, that the Trail of Tears is one of the most American of stories. It's the flipside of the American Dream, the dark truth of Manifest Destiny, the echo of the birth of the nation all at once. It's one of our very own legends, and it just happens to be true.

  19. ninja_bat says:

    *smiles evilly*

  20. Ryan Lohner says:

    Between the reference to the Water of Life, and the kid getting knifed through his jaw, I wonder if Gaiman had Dune on the brain while he wrote this.

    I know who Mister World is! I recognized the sewed-together lips the second they were mentioned, though of course I won't say anything else for now.

  21. @lnich says:

    Gur obl oyvaxrq. Ur fnvq, “Zvfgre Jbeyq? Jung unccrarq gb lbhe yvcf?”

    Jbeyq fvturq. “Gur gehgu bs gur znggre,” ur fnvq, “vf gung fbzrobql frjrq gurz gbtrgure. N ybat gvzr ntb.”

    BXNL JUNG GUR URYY VF TBVAT BA. [ . . . ] Naq JUL JRER ZVFGRE JBEYQ’F YVCF FRJRQ FUHG?

    I love this. I LOVE THIS. Fhpu na boivbhf uvag gb crbcyr jub trg gur ersrerapr, ohg fb sernxva' pbashfvat sbe rirelbar ryfr. Ubj zhpu qb V jnag gb fpernz, "Vg'f Ybxv!"? Dhvgr n ovg :-C

  22. Shaylani says:

    And here is where I officially failed. I finished this chapter, realized it was Friday and read the rest of the book. I'm ashamed, yet satisfied.

    • Rob Grebel says:

      I totally did the same thing. I blame my wife (seen on these boards as "OMGTaikoDrums"). I, too, am satisfied.

  23. I get the impression from the posters that have already read the book that this chapter had a lot of foreshadowing in it, and I am now resisting the urge to reread the chapter to pick up on stuff. Ugh! I just want to finish it so badly!!!!!!

    This is too intense guys. Is Shadow coming back to life? Who was the gruff voice? Wednesday? AAAAGHH!!!!!!

    WHY!?

    Also, Mark, I think you are making an assumption that Mister World and Mister Town are gods. Maybe they are, but I've been wondering for a while now. They seem different than all the other gods somehow. Maybe they are something else entirely. Or maybe I'm completely wrong and am stupid for not picking up on everything that was supposedly in this chapter.

    UGH I JUST WANT TO READ MORE

  24. birdbrainblue says:

    ……….This will never not be unintentionally hilarious. Oh, Mark. <3

  25. Shiroikami says:

    "I’m still not entirely sure why Mister Town and Mister World are named they way they are. Is that what they’re gods of? Are they actually gods of something else?"

    I think I can safely answer these questions at this point without them being spoilers since it's really been pretty well laid out in all the previous chapters. The "Misters" aren't gods. Or at least, they're not gods individually. All together if I had to give them a name, it would probably be "Government Conspiracy". They're that idea of a faceless, suited, government agency that is a cross between the FBI, CIA, NSA and Secret Service, in which every member has a generic name (like the Agents in The Matrix – Smith, Jones, White, etc.). That's why they're named after ordinary things: Wood, Stone, Town, World.

    That's all it is.

    Bxnl, jryy, gung'f abg NYY vg vf. Fvapr V'z nyzbfg cbfvgvir gung gur Zvfgref (jvgu gur rkprcgvba bs Zvfgre Jbeyq nxn Ybxv, bs pbhefr) ner whfg beqvanel uhznaf oebhtug va nf cnjaf va Ybxv naq Bqva'f pba, ohg GUNG jbhyq or n fcbvyre, fb bs pbhefr V'z abg tbvat gb fnl nalguvat nobhg gung bhgfvqr bs ebg13 lrg.

    • Rob Grebel says:

      That's why they're named after ordinary things: Wood, Stone, Town, World.

      You forgot about Misters Thumbscrews and Pentathol.

    • Helen says:

      Wednesday refers to Mr. Wood and Mr. Stone as "Spooks" after Shadow escapes from them, I think, so you're correct about them representing a government conspiracy. They exist because people assume they must.

  26. I also felt very "weirded" by the gathering of the gods, and there are so many of them!

    The internet/technology guy brought up our questions of why there needs to be a war… and you are so close to the answer! READ ON! I want to see your reaction to the next chapters so bad! hehehehe

    At least we can see that Mr. World is a man (god) of his word… he tells the secret and then does kill the internet/technology guy! He short-circuits because he is the representation of a "machine", and since he is much more "powerful" through belief, i'm assuming his human form has more of his "true" form? Dunno, made sense for me when at the time!

  27. Doodle says:

    Mr. World is Christopher Carrion! Right?

  28. nyogu says:

    OH MY GOD YOU ARE SO CLOSE. I can't wait for you to read the next chapter. You are going to FREAK and the entire book is going to come together and *hugs*.

  29. Doodle says:

    But siriusly, I suspect Mister World is one of the old gods!

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