A to Z Challenge Day One - American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman.

Yes, the secret's out! My theme for the A to Z Challenge is Favourite Books. I might slip in some ROW80 updates or some writing-related talk, but for the most part, it'll be a book a day. And of course, I had to start with my current obsession, Neil Gaiman.

I read American Gods back in January, and since then I've read Anansi Boys, Fragile Things, Stardust, and Smoke and Mirrors. Not been disappointed yet!

Though I did start a long discussion about Gaiman vs Lewis and the Problem of Susan from The Chronicles of Narnia, over at the Compuserve Books and Writers Community.

Gaiman's got a fun tumblr page, and through there I discovered his Writer's Prayer:
A Writer's Prayer

Oh Lord, let me not be one of those who writes too much;
who spreads himself too thinly with his words,
diluting all the things he has to say,
like butter spread too thinly over toast,
or watered milk in some worn-out hotel;
but let me write the things I have to say,
and then be silent, 'til I need to speak.

Oh Lord, let me not be one of those who writes too little;
a decade-man between each tale, or more,
where every word accrues significance
and dread replaces joy upon the page.
Perfectionists like chasing the horizon;
You kept perfection, gave the rest to us,
so let me earn the wisdom to move on.

But over and above those two mad spectres of parsimony and profligacy,
Lord, let me be brave, and let me, while I craft my tales, be wise:
let me say true things in a voice that is true,
and, with the truth in mind, let me write lies.
Happy April Fool's Day!


Denise Covey said…
Ha, Deniz - not too much, not too little. Hard to get it right.

Li said…
I haven't read this in its entirety, but I did read a short story based on it...not enough time in my life to read everything I want to read!
JennaQuentin said…
Amazing prayer. I'll need to print it - thanks for sharing. Good luck A to Z-ing!
Unknown said…
Excellent choice with Gaiman! I've still not read American Gods, but I've heard enough chatter about it to know that it's all kinds of awesome.

Jamie Gibbs
Mithril Wisdom
Anna Smith said…
Oh yeah it's April fools day! :)

Universal Gibberish
Karen Baldwin said…
Love the poem, thAnks for sharing.
Jemi Fraser said…
The first Gaiman book I read was Graveyard book - really intriguing story line. I've got Stardust on my nightstand now! :)
Sarah Ross said…
Loving the poem, wise words. Looking forward to seeing what other books you recommend during the next month!
Love the writer's poem, and look forward to reading more of your fave books, Deniz!
S.P. Bowers said…
I'm loving this A-Z challenge. I'm getting lots of ideas and I can see it's going to be a busy month.
Bob R said…
Great poem.

Never read anything by Gaiman, but am a regular reader of his wife Amanda's blog. Does that count? :)
American Gods was odd, but good. I like seeing the world through Gaiman's perspective. Thanks for the Writer's Prayer.
Nikki said…
Hey! I found you over at the A - Z signup list. I love Neil Gaiman too, I met him briefly a couple of years ago and nearly died on the spot!

This was a great post, I'm looking forward to reading more! Nice to meet you :)

Nikki – inspire nordic
Zan Marie said…
Great theme, Deniz! And thanks for the prayer. It's just right! ; )
Kate said…
Hey! Glad to see you signed on for another round! See you next check-in!
Golden Eagle said…
Ha! I love the Writer's Prayer. :)

The Golden Eagle
The Eagle's Aerial Perspective
Carol Riggs said…
Happy April Fool's Day to you too! I like Neil Gaimon's writing style; have read THE GRAVEYARD BOOK and NEVERWHERE (like the latter the best). He's very creative and imaginative. :)
Oh, I like the ending: "with the truth in mind, let me write lies."

I recently read American Gods, my first ever Gaiman novel, despite hearing about him for years upon years. I loved it! Looking forward to reading more of his books, but I need to pick which one will be next.

Aside from that, I'm your co-host for the A-to-Z! If you didn't get an email from me the other day, it may have gone in your spam box. Please feel free to contact me via my profile or reply to that email if you need anything or have any questions.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z
J.L. Campbell said…
Like that prayer by Gaiman. Would you believe I haven't read anything by him yet?
I've just been considering purchasing Anansi Boys as audiobook after reading some great reviews on goodreads.
Good choice? I haven't read any of his other books.
Stephsco said…
If only I had all the time in the world... I've only read Gaiman's Stardust and his collaboration with Terry Pratchett for Good Omens. But my husband has read many of his books, so we consider ourselves fans. He's such a terrific writer.
Anonymous said…
Agreed with your choice of A book. Love, love, love Neil Gaiman. And this book.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks for all the lovely comments, everyone!
Ooh, I should have mentioned his wife too. Here's an Amanda Palmer song I love
Rob and Lisa said…
One of my favorite books ever. Good luck with the challenge.

Janna said…
Came across your blog today as part of the challenge. American Gods is phenomenal. I was first introduce to Gaiman through Good Omens a long time ago, and didn't read American Gods until a year or so. Check out Neverwhere - it's incredibly imaginative.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks Lisa and Janna!
I haven't read Good Omens yet - looking forward to it!
Trisha said…
I don't think I've ever read any Gaiman, but I do have this one on my TBR already! hehe he sounds like a fun guy :)
Deniz Bevan said…
I hope you start it soon, Trisha!
There're lots of Gaiman stories to discover :-)