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Neil Gaiman, American Gods (2001)

Discussion points*: 

1)  What makes gods god? 

2) The nature of divinity, sacrifice, devotion

3a) What is the cultural significance of the war between the gods of old and the "new gods of credit card and freeway, of Internet and telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and of beeper and of neon"? 

3b) In what ways have American transferred their devotion from spiritual to material and technological gods? 

3c) "Same shit, different shoes" maybe, but what are the consequences of such a shift? 

4) The role of storytelling and "storytelling"  in the various planes of culture --family, community, institutions, society

5) "It's almost hard to believe that this is in the same country as Lakeside," he said. Wednesday glared at him. Then he said, "It's not. San Francisco isn't in the same country as Lakeside anymore than New Orleans is in the same country as New York or Miami is in the same country as Minneapolis." "Is that so? said Shadow, mildly. "Indeed it is. They may share certain cultural signifiers--money, a federal government, entertainment--it's the same land, obviously--but the only things that give it the illusion of being one country are the greenback, The Tonight Show, and McDonald's." Whadda ya say.

(* discussion points sourced [and/or altered] from publisher)


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  • Barry T.

    Saw Neil Gaiman at the BIL conference downtown on Sat March 22nd. He read a short story. Very good, very powerful. His partner, Amanda Palmer, was there as well. She sang and played ukulele.

    April 7, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Wow, lucky you. :)

      April 7, 2014

    • Barry T.

      Ee Lyn, you might enjoy this video. It's "An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer". About an hour long. First half hour is onstage performance - intermingled poem, song, short story, song. Kicks off with a poem by Gaiman. Around 18 mins in there's a great short story by Gaiman, followed by Palmer's famous ukulele song. Second half hour is onstage interview plus some questions from the audience. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.co...­

      April 9, 2014

  • Regi M.

    OH! What I am missing. Look at the creativity! I was tutoring my new S. Korean lady. It's all about being able to pay my taxes. And other bills. I miss you!

    March 21, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Miss you too, Regi! XO

      March 22, 2014

  • James M.

    Fantastic choice, Ee Lyn! And a stimulating conversation about a diverse and compelling book - this is one I'll re-read for sure.

    March 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    BeLIEfs: Do you ever peel open the top slice of a sandwich to see what you are really eating?

    1 · March 20, 2014

  • James M.

    Stories
    Biographies
    Histories
    Intersections
    Divergences
    Convergences
    Perspectives, sight lines
    Bird's-eye views and grains of sand
    Back roads over highways
    Skin over bones
    Parallel lines to infinity
    The vanishing point an illusion

    1 · March 16, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nutrasweet for my Tweets
    Tummies full of Telly's grifts
    Hungry still
    for more fakelores
    They snort Splendour's tales in the malls

    Well Paul Bunyan knows just how it ends
    in the grave, he descries
    with Lady Liberty
    in their dead cold hands

    2 · March 14, 2014

    • James M.

      Love the slant rhyme on "ends" and "hands" :))

      March 15, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      It was a toss up between hands and pants. :2

      1 · March 15, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    March[masked] Friday: Headlines of neighbhourhood newspaper: In the business of selling churches--realtors carved out a niche for themselves over the past 15 years specializing in the sale of churches and temples

    1 · March 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    gods be dammed
    gods be praised
    give me a glass
    and I'll stick it up
    a window and make a beautiful stained painting depicting gods frolicking in the light
    with truths bright
    in Shadows dark and long
    growing
    pounding in the cliches of pain and pleasure
    till...

    1 · March 4, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Diamonds & ice & rubies
    Dripping cold cuts
    at the feet of gods

    March 2, 2014

  • Regi M.

    Yes-I'm looking forward to this one for sure. Ee Lyn, you bookie you! Thanks for doing the ?????

    March 2, 2014

  • James M.

    Great discussion questions Ee Lyn! :)

    March 2, 2014

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