I’m going to have to read American Gods again.

I really enjoyed the first episode of the new series of American Gods, but in it we’re treated to things that took a long time to reveal in the book.  When first reading Neil Gaiman’s novel I felt a slow, creeping, gaining of knowledge building up to full understanding.  Maybe new viewers, those who haven’t read it, are feeling the same way now. Maybe I was just slow when I read the book and others “got it” immediately. I hope not though because that was one of the joys of reading it for the first time.

Maybe anyone who hasn’t read it will be thinking WTF is going on?

Presumably the relatively quick reveal in the TV show was deliberate.  The slow burn of realisation that was a major part of Neil Gaiman’s story is pretty much spelled out to us in the first episode of American Gods.  Maybe it’s because I’ve already read the story.  Maybe anyone who hasn’t read it will be thinking WTF is going on?

Shadow Moon is, in many ways, the same as a first time reader.  He hasn’t really got a clue what’s going on but knows for sure that it’s a long way away from being normal. His transformation from expectant inmate, about to go home to be with his love, to betrayed loner with no friends and no prospects is just the beginning of his journey into the World of the Gods.

So far the film-makers have given us the beginnings of a journey that makes me want to go along for the ride. They haven’t shied away from the gory, gruesome or grotesque, and included the Bilquis scene in a pretty graphic way. The first episode is book-ended by two scenes with enough gore to top all but the most bloodthirsty of Game of Thrones episodes. We’re treated to a battle full of beheadings and severed limbs at the start, and a blood-spattered gore-fest at the end.

It’s not for the faint-hearted, but promises a great deal if you have the stomach for it.