Originally Posted by Josh
Really? I read nothing but fantasy/sci fi and I think American Gods is one of the most brilliant books ever written. I'm a fan of The Dark Tower as well. But American Gods has a lot going for it. As much as I like The Dark Tower, you can't deny there are hugely unnecessary levels of bloat in the saga. After Book 4, things get steadily less interesting. Sure there's a big finale, but the last three books are really hit or miss. American Gods is a freestanding work, which I really dig (there is a loose tie in/less serious sequel though that is a fun read), the unnecessarily bloated sci fi/fantasy saga is kind of a tired trope. It's nice to read a one book story every now and then.
These days I dig freestanding books or unbloated series more than the epic fantasy stuff that feels like a chore. Dresden Files is the only extensive series in recent memory that didn't bore me to tears in parts. I was reading Malazan and Sword of Truth fairly recently and just had to say fuck it to both when they hit a doldrums 3-4 books in the series.
Gotta say though, Shadow isn't the strong point of the story, I don't think he was meant to be. Shadow is like, first person shooter player character levels of interesting, he's kind of just the everyman who's eyes you are supposed to see the more interesting world/characters through.
BTW: If you haven't read Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell I would recommend you pick that up. I had it laying around for the longest time unread, because I thought it was a childish fruity fantasy book, but it's really not. Freestanding too, not part of a series.