Everyone feels a little trepidation when their favourite book is made into a film or TV show. I shouldn’t complain, though. Lately, it seems they have been getting it more right than wrong. Big Little Lies was awesome. Handmaid’s Tale was awesome. Game of Thrones was awesome.
And then came American Gods. Fans kept a close eye on the cast which revealed characters not present in the book. A little apprehension was in order (I made sure I had ice cream in my freezer, just in case) and, even though Bryan Fuller was in charge, I was disappointed to hear they were going to stretch it out to two seasons. But, I spoke too soon. In short, I loved everything about it.
The photography, the cast, the screenplay, they even included more visual, metaphysical parts. They made it so stunning and familiar, I found myself nodding in agreement on the verge of tears. Yes, dramatic, I know. But I can’t wait for more (still ate the ice cream, though).
For those lucky ones who still haven’t dived into Gaiman’s writing and love the gods theme, check out Anansi Boys (that had me laughing out loud) and Sandman, his graphic novel that reached a cult status a while ago (oh, how I envy you if you still haven’t read it).
Now, American Gods was not my first gods-centric novel. When I started thinking about it, I read quite a few. So, to ease the pain for the fans of the show, here is a list of 5 godly books.
1. The Book of All Hours (Vellum and Ink) by Hal Duncan
Praise the gods, I finally get to talk about this book! The plot is anything but easy to explain. It spans universes and time periods, jumping back and forth in a wonderful nonlinearity that will leave you frustrated and begging for more.
It’s about mortals becoming gods, demi-gods, angels and demons and it’s so lush and complicated you’re going to want to read it again. None of the synopsis you read online will do it justice so just pick it up and see for yourself.
If you like a good, challenging book, give it a go. Fair warning, this book is definitely not for everyone. But, I read those words of caution in a review somewhere and that made me want to read it even more so…*shrug *wink
2. Thessaly series by Jo Walton
I loved Jo Walton’s Among Others. When I found out she wrote a trilogy about Plato’s Republic, I had no choice but to check it out. In short, the goddess Athena decides to create Plato’s perfect society and put it to the test.
She takes 10 000 children and teachers from different time periods, puts them in the distant past and watches as society evolves. This trilogy poses some interesting questions about life, love and the roles we play every day. If you love Greek history, literature and mythology, this is a wonderful read.
3. Insomnia by Stephen King
Insomnia holds a special place in my heart since it was my first Stephen King book. I must’ve read it three or four times when I was a kid and it remains my favorite King novel. Its protagonist is a 70-something-year-old man named Ralph Roberts who starts suffering from insomnia after the death of his wife.
He quickly starts to see auras around living things and people he calls little, bald doctors because they wear white coats and are, well, bald. These characters were based, and named, after Greek goddesses of fate and destiny: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos and they, in essence, decide who lives and dies. I don’t want to give too much away at this point, just check it out. You won’t be sorry.
4. The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
This is a weird one. Carolyn is one of 11 children adopted by a mysterious figure called Father. Father locked the children away and gave each an area of study: healing, language and even killing. The book begins with Father’s disappearance and unravels from there.
The novel has some very interesting and crazy ideas. It involves concepts of immortality and god-like entities and it weaves a very imaginative story I guarantee you haven’t heard before. It was a first for me, at least. And I loved every page.
5. Ilium and Olympos by Dan Simmons
I wrote about these novels before, but not in this context. If you like the Iliad, you’ll love this space opera take on it. The more intriguing parts of the epic poem, including the battles between the gods, are all there. It has some interesting twists on the story and if you like your gods badass, this is the read for you.
I’m sure I missed something. Let me know in the comments some of your favorite godly reads.