I’ve isolated some of the problems I had with Neil Gaiman’s book, American Gods. Throughout the whole book I pictured the hero, Shadow, as Tony Curtis, his deceased wife as Susan Strasberg, and Wednesday as Burgess Meredith. It took me quite a while to realize I was even doing it. Once I came to that realization, it didn’t take long to figure out why. I was relating the book to a decades old movie with a strikingly similar plot. In The Manitou the Manitous of the old religions and the Manitous of the new technologies have a show-down in an icy alternative universe. Poor Tony Curtis, who heretofore thought he was only a magician and con-man finds himself playing the role of savior of the world, or at least of Susan Strasberg, who has sprouted a 4,000 year old Medicine Man from her back. Okay, so I’m not saying The Manitou was a good movie, as it most assuredly was not. In fact, it’s Bad in that delightfully mindbending way that makes it hard to describe. Unfortunately, reading American Gods makes me want to fish the tape out and watch the damn thing again.

As for American Gods, I think it could most definitely have benefited from another draft to craft some of the clunkier sections. The heavy-handed foreshadowing could have been fine-tuned too, so that maybe the ending could have been smoother, or at least made less of a dull thud. Nonetheless, it was nice escapism.

spicy suction cups

Just wanted to say “spicy suction cups.”

We should have gone to Philadelphia this week to the conference, but we didn’t.

Having just (finally) read Don DeLilo’s White Noise, Ms. Skarlet saw too much of herself in the American Studies scholars who only read the backs of cereal boxes. It was terrifying. She couldn’t go. Novel-induced fear is, we would like to point out, the perfect post-modern pop-culture excuse for ditching an academic conference. Additionally, there are no Waffle Houses in Philadelphia. This is not a good situation.

plucked from the ashes of the punkprincess.com archives, reposted 02-23-07