Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Upon the release of the 10th Anniversary Edition of American Gods

Dear Neil,

Your American Gods is ten years old this month. Aside from how that possibly makes both of us feel significantly older than we usually feel on a day to day basis, I would be doing you a disservice by neglecting to acknowledge this milestone.

American Gods isn't my favorite book. However, it's undoubtedly, for me,  the most important of your books. It's the book I read four times, always hoping that each would be the read where the story unfolded and revealed its secrets and became the masterwork that others claimed it was. I always felt like it was just this close to clicking with me, but something kept getting in the way.

Ten years later, I still hope that when I read the 10th Anniversary Edition it will be the time that everything falls into place.

Maybe it will, as I realized that this book and I did click. We clicked that first time I read my brand new hardcover—the first adult hardcover novel I'd bought on the basis that the author wouldn't disappoint me—ten years ago.

Because I couldn't written any story I've written since without having read this one of yours; it was American Gods that taught me we carry our gods around with us and we bump elbows with other people's gods as we pass them on the sidewalk.

It was American Gods that taught me what we focus on gives it power, and that we should choose what we give power over us with a little more care than we often do.

It was American Gods that taught me the world is a strange, funny, beautiful, wonderful, horrifying place; that we often get tangled up in battles that we don't think are ours, and that we can run and hide but eventually the world will find us.

And I thank you, as those are all important things to know. I don't know that they're what you intended to say, but I hope that's at least part of it. I'm happy to keep rereading until I find the rest.

Congratulations upon the release of your 10th Anniversary Edition. May the next ten years bring you even more stories.


1 comment:

Lesliejm said...

(Not sure if blogger just deleted my attempt at a comment. Feel free to edit this out if that's possible).

I can't believe it's 10 years old! Sounds like it's time for me to do a re-read. Great post. I might have to re-read some stuff of yours that I've got kicking around too :)