Tuesday, May 29, 2001

American Gods Blog, Post 63

So the reviews are now coming in: a trickle at first, then around publication date there should be a flood, and then that'll die back to a trickle again.

The last time I listened to a review (good or bad) was in 1987, and it was a review of Violent Cases, my first ever graphic novel (with Dave Mckean drawing). The review said it was a good book, but it was too expensive. Dave and I took that to heart, and we went to the publisher, showed him the review, and asked him to lower the price.

So for the next two or three printings, the book was cheaper. We made a lower royalty. And no-one ever noticed or said anything, nor did anyone ever say anything when, with the next edition, the price went back up again. Which, I decided, was reason enough not to listen to reviews.

So this morning brought two reviews. One (positive) from the Summer 2001 BookForum, by Anthony Miller, who liked all the stuff on the road with gods in it but feels the book

"loses momentum when Shadow leaves the road and Gaiman turns his attention to small-town life"

and one (mixed) from an anonymous Publishers Weekly reviewer which says

"Shadow's poignant personal moments and the tale's affectionate slices of smalltown life are much better developed than the aimless plot ".

Which is the other reason not to listen to reviews. You'd go mad.

(My favourite line from PW: "Mere mortals will enjoy the tale's wit, but puzzle over its strained mythopoeia". My favorite from BookForum "His at once comic and melancholic imagination, and his facility for navigating the nocturnal and supernatural realms, evoke some of the great writers of the fantastic, from James Branch Cabell to Jorge Luis Borges, along with flashes of Flann O'Brien and glimpses of G. K. Chesterton.")

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