I’ve started re-reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It’s an utterly enthralling book and this is my fourth or fifth time through it. I read it for the first time about seven or eight years ago and it surprised me how much it stuck with me, especially since I’m pretty ambivalent about some of Gaiman’s other works. I was “meh” about Neverwhere, couldn’t get into Anansi Boys, and thought the Graveyard Book was good if not ridiculously derivative. (Then again, Gaiman made no bones about how the Graveyard Book was heavily inspired and influenced by Kipling’s the Jungle Books, so I should be more tolerant–but I’m not.)
But American Gods? One of my favorites of all time. To a certain degree, I felt I learned more about America than I had ever known just by reading an Englishman’s fictional account of a road trip taken by a couple of guys, one of whom may be a god.
The cover of the book is a highway stretching off to the horizon through the plains, touched by the fire of a lightning strike during a storm. As I went for a walk today, I took my book with me, as I usually do. I read while I walk, but pay attention to where I’m going as well, trying to make sure I don’t end up like Stephen King. I look up occasionally to check where I am, that I haven’t veered into the street, that I’m out of the way of the passing cars.
Today, I looked up at one point and saw the above picture. It’s a stretch of road bending down a hill. There were two guys walking along it. I quickly took my phone out and snapped the picture. I tinkered with it about in Snapseed (cropping) and Hipstamatic (filters). The result is a picture that reminds me of the book I’ve started to re-read. I’m good with that.