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The Shogun

Neil Gaiman's American Gods

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Hey! Unless you're living under a rock in the bottom of the sea, you might know that there's an upcoming TV series based on Neil Gaiman's "American Gods". I posted on social media that I was intending to read the book again and asked how might join me, and some nerds volunteered and I thought I might extend this invitation to all the rebellion =D

 

The idea is to read the book, no rush, and talk about it in an asynchronous way, and hey! maybe watch the series, too, once it starts and check out the adaptation.

 

Heck, we might even read The Anansi Boys, too later.

 

And then conquer the world

 

And then ????

 

PROFITS!?

 

 

Also, please, be careful with the spoilers. No everyone needs to know the Snape Kills Dumbledore.

 

 

 

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I just read this quite recently, but between one thing and another I've never read Anansi Boys. I'll be around for discussion, show watching, and sequel reading for sure.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, PinkNinja said:

I might have gotten a little carried away and already be 50% through the book..

WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN!?

 

You read REEALLY fast hahaha (I do so, too... but I'm reading like 10 books at the same time so...making really slow progress)

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Just now, ICB said:

I just read this quite recently, but between one thing and another I've never read Anansi Boys. I'll be around for discussion, show watching, and sequel reading for sure.

 

 

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I've haven't read Anansi Boys either! I'll be saving it for the withdrawal syndrome after the first season of the show ends. 

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26 minutes ago, brutalbears said:

One of my favorite books ever. I'm reading never where right now.

 

 

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Have you read Gaiman's Norse Mythology? once you do it, you recognize a few winks to the mythology in American Gods. 

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Have you read Gaiman's Norse Mythology? once you do it, you recognize a few winks to the mythology in American Gods. 

I need too read it. The tattoo on getting here soon has a part dedicated to Sandman. Best graphic novel of all time: hands down.

 

 

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I read "American Gods" several years ago.  I enjoyed it (although Bilquis really creeped me the fuck out), but I didn't see what all the great big fuss was about, it's not my favorite Gaiman book.  I suppose people found the whole immigrant-gods thing cool.  

 

Being pretty well acquainted with the mythologies commonly known in the West, as well as some that aren't, I figured out Mr. Wednesday's true identity as soon as he turned up.  I also think I deserve cookies for probably being the only person this side of the university who actually knows where Easter comes from.  Had Wednesday asked me, he'd have lost his bet and it would have cost him a toe.

 

Worth noting, not too spoilery: Shadow's true name is never mentioned in the story.  See if you can figure out who he is.

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On 19/4/2017 at 4:04 AM, Raincloak said:

I read "American Gods" several years ago.  I enjoyed it (although Bilquis really creeped me the fuck out), but I didn't see what all the great big fuss was about, it's not my favorite Gaiman book.  I suppose people found the whole immigrant-gods thing cool.  

 

Being pretty well acquainted with the mythologies commonly known in the West, as well as some that aren't, I figured out Mr. Wednesday's true identity as soon as he turned up.  I also think I deserve cookies for probably being the only person this side of the university who actually knows where Easter comes from.  Had Wednesday asked me, he'd have lost his bet and it would have cost him a toe.

 

Worth noting, not too spoilery: Shadow's true name is never mentioned in the story.  See if you can figure out who he is.

 

Being somewhat acquainted with Norse Mythology (I did learned a lot from the book)  I also figured it out pretty soon who Mr. Wednesday truly is.

 

Now, Shadow was a bit more difficult.

 

Spoiler

At first I thought he was Thor, but then I realized he's Baldr! His death brings the Ragnarok after all, doesn't it?

 

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On 4/19/2017 at 3:04 AM, Raincloak said:

it's not my favorite Gaiman book

I finished American Gods again on Wednesday. I'm up for suggestions.

 

On 4/18/2017 at 5:34 PM, The Shogun said:

I've haven't read Anansi Boys either!

I had never heard of Anansi Boys until you guys mentioned. I guess I should move to it next. I think I'm going to read Handmaid's Tale first.

 

So glad you started this, @The Shogun, I was getting in a reading slump and canceled my Kindle unlimited. I couldn't find anything I thought "sounded good" on it.

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On 4/21/2017 at 1:19 AM, The Shogun said:

Now, Shadow was a bit more difficult.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

At first I thought he was Thor, but then I realized he's Baldr! His death brings the Ragnarok after all, doesn't it?

 

Spoiler

Not quite. Baldr's death is an omen of approaching Ragnarök, but not a trigger. Interestingly enough, he returns to the world after Ragnarök. Depending on which sagas you read, he is either reborn or he simply walks out of the Underworld and helps rules along sign two of Odin's sons who survive Ragnarök. Interesting outlook on life, those Norsemen.

 

Returning to the original topic, yeah, pretty sure Shadow is Baldr or a version thereof.

 

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I started rereading American Gods because some guy in my Facebook feed kept talking about it. I also picked up Anansi Boys today so I'll be around for that discussion too.

 

Sent from my SM-G935R4 using Tapatalk

 

 

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On 4/19/2017 at 3:04 AM, Raincloak said:

I read "American Gods" several years ago.  I enjoyed it (although Bilquis really creeped me the fuck out), but I didn't see what all the great big fuss was about, it's not my favorite Gaiman book.  I suppose people found the whole immigrant-gods thing cool.  

 

Being pretty well acquainted with the mythologies commonly known in the West, as well as some that aren't, I figured out Mr. Wednesday's true identity as soon as he turned up.  I also think I deserve cookies for probably being the only person this side of the university who actually knows where Easter comes from.  Had Wednesday asked me, he'd have lost his bet and it would have cost him a toe.

 

Worth noting, not too spoilery: Shadow's true name is never mentioned in the story.  See if you can figure out who he is.

 

On 4/23/2017 at 11:21 AM, Nomad Jay said:
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Not quite. Baldr's death is an omen of approaching Ragnarök, but not a trigger. Interestingly enough, he returns to the world after Ragnarök. Depending on which sagas you read, he is either reborn or he simply walks out of the Underworld and helps rules along sign two of Odin's sons who survive Ragnarök. Interesting outlook on life, those Norsemen.

 

Returning to the original topic, yeah, pretty sure Shadow is Baldr or a version thereof.

 

Spoiler

I think Shadow can be seen as a mortal protagonist or a heroic demigod, rather than a stand-in for Baldr. He isn't given Baldr's godly beauty or the even the love of the gods; he's more an antihero. Moreover his pained reaction to trips behind the scenes, his role as a chaos/change bringer to the gods themselves, and his multiple acts of championing the cause of mortals - they all support seeing him as a sympathetic character for the reader as a mortal. The Baldr story of death by Loki's deceit, it's just not in American Gods.

 

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On 2017-4-23 at 0:21 PM, Nomad Jay said:
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Not quite. Baldr's death is an omen of approaching Ragnarök, but not a trigger. Interestingly enough, he returns to the world after Ragnarök. Depending on which sagas you read, he is either reborn or he simply walks out of the Underworld and helps rules along sign two of Odin's sons who survive Ragnarök. Interesting outlook on life, those Norsemen.

 

Returning to the original topic, yeah, pretty sure Shadow is Baldr or a version thereof.

 

Does reading Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology counts?

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On 2017-4-24 at 9:20 PM, joedog said:

I started rereading American Gods because some guy in my Facebook feed kept talking about it. I also picked up Anansi Boys today so I'll be around for that discussion too.

 

Sent from my SM-G935R4 using Tapatalk

 

 

Keep listening to that guy!

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Spoiler

While I did not read the book, being an Asatruar myself, it was pretty easy to tell Mr. Wednesday was Odin. Heck, he almost says it "Wednesday is my day", because it is Odin/Woden's day. If indeed Shadow is Baldr, it would make sense and go along with some of the things I've read. Seems a lot of mention of Baldr didn't show up until after the Christianization of the Norse peoples and that explains him showing up and having a lot in common with Christ. It would stand to reason then, that Shadow being in America would follow along with the Mormon mythology about Jesus coming to America. He may well be the bridge between the old and new gods, perhaps to all humanity.

I'll have to read the book.

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7 hours ago, Brawlrus said:
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While I did not read the book, being an Asatruar myself, it was pretty easy to tell Mr. Wednesday was Odin. Heck, he almost says it "Wednesday is my day", because it is Odin/Woden's day. If indeed Shadow is Baldr, it would make sense and go along with some of the things I've read. Seems a lot of mention of Baldr didn't show up until after the Christianization of the Norse peoples and that explains him showing up and having a lot in common with Christ. It would stand to reason then, that Shadow being in America would follow along with the Mormon mythology about Jesus coming to America. He may well be the bridge between the old and new gods, perhaps to all humanity.

I'll have to read the book.

Funny thing, I got the identity of Mr. Wednesday from the fact that he has a glass eye, but he didn't lose the eye, he "knows precisely where it is": It took me a while to register the "Wednesday is my day" thing because in my mothertongue (even if I read the book in English) the day is named after Mercury, not after him. 

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1 hour ago, The Shogun said:

Funny thing, I got the identity of Mr. Wednesday from the fact that he has a glass eye, but he didn't lose the eye, he "knows precisely where it is": It took me a while to register the "Wednesday is my day" thing because in my mothertongue (even if I read the book in English) the day is named after Mercury, not after him. 

The Mercury-Odin connection is pertinent to one of the more mysterious scenes in the books. Remember the chicken-egg dilemma of roman's interpreting all gods according to the schema of their own gods, and the common roots of Indo-European culture? Tacitcus started the argument with his famous blip equivocating the two gods (below). I like to think of both pantheons as descending from the mother proto-indo-european (PIE) culture and therefore their respective interpretations of polytheism having shared cultural genes, but there's a compelling argument that imagines Germanic tribes being invaded/raided by PIE, adopting southern gods, and the resulting sythesis culture splices their pre-indo-european pantheon into the vanir and aesir split that runs through the sagas.

Quote

Among the gods Mercury is the one they principally worship. They regard it as a religious duty to offer to him, on fixed days, human as well as other sacrificial victims. Hercules and Mars they appease by animal offerings of the permitted kind.

 

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17 hours ago, Laghail said:

The Mercury-Odin connection is pertinent to one of the more mysterious scenes in the books. Remember the chicken-egg dilemma of roman's interpreting all gods according to the schema of their own gods, and the common roots of Indo-European culture? Tacitcus started the argument with his famous blip equivocating the two gods (below). I like to think of both pantheons as descending from the mother proto-indo-european (PIE) culture and therefore their respective interpretations of polytheism having shared cultural genes, but there's a compelling argument that imagines Germanic tribes being invaded/raided by PIE, adopting southern gods, and the resulting sythesis culture splices their pre-indo-european pantheon into the vanir and aesir split that runs through the sagas.

 

 

Bro, are you like an university profesor on mithology... ? it's like this were a forum for very enthusiastic people about random areas of knowledge who also workout regularly..

 

But, seriously, like I could sign up for a course.. (on mithology and grammar because have you read what I just wrote? yuck)

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2 hours ago, The Shogun said:

Bro, are you like an university profesor on mithology... ?

We could do an expertise swap, you teach VT and moltov cocktail mixology, I'll teach half-baked sociology!

 

But for real though, when you get to the casino scene in the book, lemme know. Stuff gets weird.

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On 2017-5-16 at 11:07 AM, Laghail said:

We could do an expertise swap, you teach VT and moltov cocktail mixology, I'll teach half-baked sociology!

 

But for real though, when you get to the casino scene in the book, lemme know. Stuff gets weird.

Oh but I've read the book! I'm just re-reading it while I watch the series.

 

Hey! have y'all checked out the Nerdist's American Gods explained series??? It's a good companion to the book/series

 

 

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20 hours ago, The Shogun said:

Oh but I've read the book! I'm just re-reading it while I watch the series.

 

Hey! have y'all checked out the Nerdist's American Gods explained series??? It's a good companion to the book/series

 

 

What a fun series!

 

Spoiler

So in the casino, there's this other guy that's not given a name, but he's strongly hinted as being a mirror of Odin. Remember the scene? I had to read some fan posts to get it, but I'm fairly convinced that guy is supposed to be a version of mercury. Thoughts?

 

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On 5/15/2017 at 0:45 AM, The Shogun said:

Does reading Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology counts?

Honestly not sure, since I've never read it. I had a research project (many moons ago) into Norse mythology so I read an English translation of Snorri Sturluson's works. Because I'm weird.

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