May 242013

American Gods.
Neil Gaiman.

He was as naked and as open as a corpse on a table, and dark Anubis the jackal god was his prosector and his prosecutor and his persecutor.

Page: 356

Word: prosector
Pronunciation: proh-sek-ter
  • a person who dissects cadavers for the illustration of anatomical lectures or the like.
  • a person who performs autopsies to establish the cause of death or the nature and seat of disease.
Origin: 1855–60; Late Latin: anatomist, literally, one who cuts in public (or beforehand), equivalent to Latin pr?sec ( ?re ) to cut out (body organs) in public sacrifice

Clever use of 3 such similar words; especially one I had never seen before. Made me read it a number of times.

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May 162013

American Gods.
Neil Gaiman.

Wednesday looked angry, and then the anger became rue, and he said, “Shadow, give the man the keys to the Winnebago.” Shadow passed the car keys to Whiskey Jack.

Page: 264

Word: rue
Definition: regret, sorrow
Origin: Middle English rewe, from Old English hr?ow; akin to Old High German hriuwa sorrow
First Known Use: before 12th century
The only context I ever remember hearing the word is as a verb, ie, “He will rue the day that…” In the story it is used as a noun, but apparently is still interchangeable with the more common ‘regret’.

Source: Merriam-Webster Online
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May 162013

American Gods.
Neil Gaiman.

“We lost them”…


“I don’t know. We set up a roadblock, there was nowhere they could have gone and they went there anyway.”

Page: 258

Sometimes the book’s story line seemed to follow this same path. Not in a bad way, just that the story went places I was not expecting and in ways unfathomable.

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May 092013

American Gods.
Neil Gaiman.

How much time do you ‘devote’ to the glowing screen? The TV is called an idiot box. What do we call the computer monitor?

I’m the idiot box. I’m the TV. I’m the all-seeing eye and the world of the cathode ray. I’m the boob tube. I’m the little shrine the family gathers to adore.”

“You’re the television? Or someone in the television?”

“The TV’s the altar. I’m what people are sacrificing to.”

“What do they sacrifice?” asked Shadow.

“Their time, mostly,” said Lucy. “Sometimes each other.” She raised two fingers, blew imaginary gun smoke from the tips. Then she winked, a big old I Love Lucy wink.

Page: 132

May 082013

American Gods.
Neil Gaiman.

…there are new gods growing in America, clinging to growing knots of belief: 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.

Page: 105

Here in America most people consider themselves either a Christian or an atheist. The former because they might go to church on Christmas or Easter and the latter because they know better. We mock cultures that set up alters in their homes to gods or  deceased family members yet we sacrifice hours of our time and a hundred dollars or more a month to sit in front of what my dad called the ‘boob tube

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May 072013

American Gods.
Neil Gaiman.

Shadow’s mount caracoled away from it, and Shadow stroked its neck and told it not to be afraid.

Page: 101

Next time I go to the circus I will have a word for what the horses and, I suppose, elephants are doing.

Word: caracole [karuh-kohl]
 1. a half turn executed by a horse and rider.
 2. Rare. a winding staircase.
verb (used without object)
 3. to execute caracoles; wheel.

Origin: 1650–60; < French < Spanish caracol snail, spiral shell or stair, turning movement (of a horse)


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May 012013

American Gods.
Neil Gaiman.

I am not sure I have ever seen ‘peach’ used as a verb before. The verb ‘impeach’ is fairly common, we all are familiar with the fuzzy fruit, and I have been asked to ‘be a peach’ but have never considered using the word as a verb.

And if the authorities caught you returning from transportation—if an old enemy, or an old friend with a score to settle, saw you and peached on you—then you were hanged without a blink.
Page: 73

v. peached, peach·ing, peach·es

  • To inform on someone; turn informer: “Middle-level bureaucrats cravenly peach on their bosses [when] one of them does something the tiniest bit illegal” (National Observer).
  • To inform against: “He has peached me and all the others, to save his life” (Daniel Defoe).

  • [Middle English pechen, from apechen, to accuse (probably from Anglo-Norman *anpecher, from Late Latin impedicre, to entangle; see impeach) and from empechen, to accuse; see impeach.]

So, be a peach, and don’t go peaching on me.

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Apr 262013

American Gods.
Neil Gaiman.
Google Books

My son, Geoff, had invited me to go with him to “Afternoon with…” Neil Gaiman in Portland at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom near the end of June. Gaiman is touring to promote his first adult novel in eight years, “The Ocean At The End Of The Lane“.

I have read Gaimans “The Graveyard Book” but not any of his adult novels. Geoff had recommended “American Gods” to me. So read it I will.

Book Posts

Book Info

American Gods
by Neil Gaiman
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: 06/19/2001
ISBN-10: 0061792667
ISBN-13: 978-0061792663
Started: 04/26/2013
Finished: 06/09/2013
Source: Mid-Columbia Library
Reason: Recommended by my son, Geoff
Format: e-book

Publisher Synopsis

First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic—an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this tenth anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

A storm is coming . . .

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Relevant and prescient, American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.

Author Info
I make things up and write them down. Which takes us from comics (like SANDMAN) to novels (like ANANSI BOYS and AMERICAN GODS) to short stories (some are collected in SMOKE AND MIRRORS) and to occasionally movies (like Dave McKean's MIRRORMASK or the NEVERWHERE TV series, or my own short film A SHORT FILM ABOUT JOHN BOLTON).

In my spare time I read and sleep and eat and try to keep the blog at more or less up to date.

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Jan 252010

::amazonad(“0060530928″,”The Graveyard Book”)::

::amazon(“0060530928″,”The Graveyard Book”):: is the first Neil Gaiman book I have ‘read’ and it was interesting to have it read to me by the author. My oldest son, who is 24, recommended the author and so I put in a request for a couple of Gaiman’s books from the local library. The story entrapped me from the beginning.

Summary Summary

A baby, barely able to walk, wanders out of the house while his family was being murdered. He wanders into a graveyard where he will grow up under the care of ghosts and other creatures of the graveyard until he is old enough to leave. The book is a collection of stories of his adventures while in the graveyard.


The story is written is such a way that each chapter is almost a stand-alone story, each building ever so slightly on the chapter before. My main complaints was that each chapter seemed to begin with details that would be required a few pages later, almost like downloading data in the Matrix movies. Still, each chapter told a good story and I could see reading these stories to children over successive nights.

As a children’s book, the subject is dark enough and enough violence that I would only recommend it to kids at least 12 years old. My ‘prudishness’ may be a product of the Disney-fied versions of children’s stories that I grew up with, but the macabre has always been a part of children’s literature since forever. Why? I leave that to the sociologists I think children, as they grow up, need to be able to learn how to deal with bad things that happen, to learn that things are not always sugar coated and stories are a safe way to do that.

Overall this was a fun read and I look forward to reading more of Gaiman’s books.


poor | mediocre | okay | GOOD | excellent

Format: Audiobook

Source: Mid-Columbia Library

Started: 01/13/2010 – Finished: 01/24/2010