I've come to the conclusion that I just don't "get" Neil Gaiman. This is my third Gaiman book, and I keep waiting to feel the brilliance that everyone speaks of, the incredible prose, the fantastic storytelling, the words of inspiration. Yet, as with the other books, I find myself underwhelmed and disappointed.
American Gods was a story that had a lot of merit, a lot of easter eggs to find in the wording and names, a lot of clever aspects. Unfortunately, these were wedged between huge, drawn-out stretches of extremely flat storyline movement, questionable dialogue and progression choices, and an excess of extremely pointless and unnecessary sexual elements.
I'm not going to rant much more about this - I will just say that I had high hopes for this novel considering the awards it won and the praise that it and it's author receive on a regular basis. In the end, I found it boring for long stretches, uninspiring most of the time, and uninteresting at other times. The ending was good, however, and honestly drug the book from 2-stars to 3-stars for me. I was ready to hang it up to dry as another mediocre book that took up 20 hours of my time, but the ending honestly was interesting and pleasing. I have a hard copy of Neverwhere that I bought based on recommendations and reviews that I'm actually hesitant to spend my time on - honestly, if I didn't already own it, I might not bother. But I do, so I will. For the time being, I still think that Neil Gaiman is a nice and interesting fellow with egregiously overrated novels. Then again, maybe I'm just stupid and don't "get it".