What I’m reading #2: Gaiman’s gods

This week I’m back at my recently completed second part time job in the afternoons, just for a week, to hand over to the new full-time person. Until I head in there today, I have plenty of time for a ‘what I’m reading’ follow-up post.

Of the three books mentioned in my first post, I’ve only read two. Before I get to why, a quick note on the two I have read so far.

The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx (with Ian Gittins) was up first. I enjoyed the diary format, but the font and overabundance of red and black made it hard on the eyes at times. This is not a book for the squeamish, because he does not shy away from any of the gory details. It seems like an honest book, though, as he lays out all of his terrible decisions and bad behaviour. The fact that Nikki Sixx is still alive given all the stuff he put into his body is staggering. In no way does this account glamorise the lifestyle; instead, it provides a stark look at the intersection of fame, money, drugs, and depression.

Having Jack Sutherland tell his story through his father, writer John Sutherland, in Stars, Cars and Crystal Meth was a good call. John’s little asides at the bottom of the pages are effective and are a constant reminder that he has written this account of his son’s life, an account which often wanders into disturbing territory. There is something of a snapshot feel of many of the things he recounts from the 90s and 2000s. The book captures this well, alongside its exploration of the many faces of addiction.

On to the reason I got side-tracked from my other reading – Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

American Gods is one of my favourite books of all time, partly because I’ve always been a bit fascinated with mythology. Myths and legends were among my go-to bedtime stories as a kid, and it seems like not much has changed in that respect.

What I loved about American Gods was seeing characters I already knew inhabiting a word of Gaiman’s creation. The mix of familiar mythology and new world challenge was captivating, and is something I’ve gone back to more than once. Some books are the best kind of comfort.

That’s why I wasn’t sure how I felt about Gaiman retelling Norse myths. I think maybe I was afraid his voice would be lost inside the world of Odin and Loki and Thor. I shouldn’t have worried, not even a little bit, because while there are familiar stories and characters in this book, it’s all Gaiman.

Each story flowed to the next in a way that made it hard to put down, and some of the passages were a real punch to the stomach. Like this one.

So now you know: that is how the gods got their greatest treasures. It was Loki’s fault. Even Thor’s hammer was Loki’s fault. That was the thing about Loki. You resented him even when you were at your most grateful, and you were grateful to him even when you hated him the most. 

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, Page 66 and 67

Beautifully written, poignant, and perfectly sums up everything that makes the character of Loki one of my all-time favourites, no matter the medium. The gods often hate him, but even when they do, they have no qualms about using him if that serves their purpose. I think maybe this is why my favourite characters are often the anti-heroes.

I would recommend this book for sure. The tales are so well-written, and there’s a lot in there that Asgard could teach to Midgard. Lessons we might learn. Whether we will or not, well, I guess that remains to be seen.

Up next, I need to finish Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to RuPaul by Leslie Feinberg and 18 and Life on Skid Row by Sebastian Bach (you may be sensing somewhat of a hair metal theme to my recent readings… and you would be correct). I’ve also started The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, because it’s always nice to add some quality world-ending vampire fiction to the mix.

What are you reading right now?


2 thoughts on “What I’m reading #2: Gaiman’s gods

  1. Migoto says:

    Im reading Good Omens atm RK. I love it! Like how I’m enjoying American Gods. I must do the books to American Gods as am only watching the series and potentially missing out on some of the goodness…


    • rebeccakeenanwrites says:

      Hi Migoto,

      Good Omens is amazing! I would certainly recommend reading American Gods (try to get the republished, author’s updated version if you can). It’s well worth it! I’m looking forward to watching the series at some point, too.



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