American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I just got through listening to it last night and it was pretty good, I can see why so many would like it and I can’t really understand why people wouldn’t like it. I got the cast version of the audiobook and it was extremely well done. The narration was great and the cast doing the voice work for all the characters was top-notch.

The story had me hooked in the first 20mins and I was listening to it a lot over the last couple days because I just wanted to hear a good story. The story has a lot of elements of different genres (Fantasy being the most prominent) and that all combined together rather well.  I can totally see why this book is being adapted for TV series, and I think HBO is missing out big time here by letting it go.

Definitely a Gaiman fan now, American Gods and Neverwhere impressed me a lot and I’m a sucker for a good fantasy (or urban fantasy) based story. Totally going to pick up Gaiman’s collected short story works in Trigger Warning next month.

Audible for this month.

I picked up Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Andrzej Sapkowski’s, book 2 in the Witcher series, The Time of Contempt. I went with the tenth anniversary cast edition of American Gods, mostly because I liked the cast version of Dune, Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. I felt it added a lot to the story telling. I also chose The Time of Contempt over Scalzi’s The End of All things simply because the former is out now and the latter isn’t yet. I’ll pick up The End of All things next month anyways along with either Trigger Warning or Rogues.

I am only about 1 hour into American Gods and I am already liking it a lot. I’ll be listening to it all weekend.

Ninefinger’s Advice on Battle from Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie.

The Northman chuckled. “Fearlessness is a fool’s boast, to my mind. The only men with no fear in them are the dead, or the soon to be dead, maybe. Fear teaches you caution, and respect for your enemy, and to avoid sharp edges used in anger. All good things in their place, believe me. Fear can bring you out alive, and that’s the very best anyone can hope for from any fight. Every man who’s worth a damn feels fear. It’s the use you make of it that counts.”

“Be scared? That’s your advice?”

“My advice would be to find a good woman and steer well clear of the whole bloody business, and it’s a shame no one told me the same twenty years ago.” He looked sideways at Jezal. “But if, say, you’re stuck out on some great wide plain in the middle of nowhere and can’t avoid it, there’s three rules I’d take to a fight. First, always do your best to look the coward, the weakling, the fool. Silence is a warrior’s best armour, the saying goes. Hard looks and hard words have never won a battle yet, but they’ve lost a few.”

“Look the fool, eh? I see.” Jezal had built his whole life around trying to appear the cleverest, the strongest, the most noble. It was an intriguing idea, that a man might choose to look like less than he was.

“Second, never take an enemy lightly, however much the dullard he seems. Treat every man like he’s twice as clever, twice as strong, twice as fast as you are, and you’ll only be pleasantly surprised. Respect costs you nothing, and nothing gets a man killed quicker than confidence.”

“Never underestimate the foe. A wise precaution.” Jezal was beginning to realise that he had underestimated this Northman. He wasn’t half the idiot he appeared to be.

“Third, watch your opponent as close as you can, and listen to opinions if you’re given them, but once you’ve got your plan in mind, you fix on it and let nothing sway you. Time comes to act, you strike with no backward glances. Delay is the parent of disaster, my father used to tell me, and believe me, I’ve seen some disasters.”

“No backward glances,” muttered Jezal, nodding slowly to himself. “Of course.”

Ninefingers puffed out his pitted cheeks. “There’s no replacement for seeing it, and doing it, but master all that, and you’re halfway to beating anyone, I reckon.”

“Halfway? What about the other half?”

The Northman shrugged. “Luck.”

-Joe Abercrombie, Before They Are Hanged.