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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Heard

Every Atheist Needs: American Gods

I was pregnant with my son, living in the Mayan Riviera when I read American Gods by Neil Gaiman. The majority of the book was read laying in the talcum sand of the beach at the end of Calle 38, Playa Del Carmen. There, against the background noise of turquoise waves crashing, I pondered more gods than I’d ever pondered before. This book is like marble ice cream, rippled with glistening streaks of mythology and using them to smack you in the face with commentary on contemporary life. It's fucking gorgeous… and now they’ve made it into a television show.

American Gods can be streamed on Amazon Prime (Try it here free) and it is one of the few screen adaptations I can honestly say truly feels like the book. Usually, a television series or a movie based on a favourite book is a massive let down. This is so not. It got the characters right, the imagery right, the mood right. Everything is just perfect. I remember laying on that beach in Playa Del Carmen, flipping through the pages, feeling like I was enveloped in an overexposed haze of a powerful acid trip. Wouldn’t you know it, the television series seems to have truly captured that feeling. The visuals of this show are gobsmackingly out of this world.

The story itself dips into ancient mythology to tell a modern tale. It’s like a refresher course on gods and demigods and mythical creatures except with sex and booze and bar fights. My personal favourite character is Mad Sweeney – the actor, apparently from just up the road, fits the role so perfectly, it’s almost divine.

Gaiman is an exceptional writer and I could never speak for him, but I think the show has done the book justice and then some. I haven’t gotten through the whole first season yet, but I’m itching to finish it and then I think I might watch it again. It’s so beautifully done. If you haven’t checked out American Gods on Amazon Prime, do it now. It’s utterly glorious.

Have you seen this television series or read the book? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

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