I had to admit that at first, I found it boring that Laura had to die with a cock of her best friend’s boyfriend on her mouth. Not only that it was disgusting but also I found it predictable. But the cock was forgivable because of the gesture wherein Audrey, the best friend, spat on Laura’s dead face right after placing a sprig of summer violets on Laura’s chest. At least, it was not predictable. Also, the gesture occurred to me as a message of how betrayal could and could not efface friendship. Although hatred weighed heavier, it was still a difficult bargain with the heart and getting oneself stuck amidst extremes happens often.
I could say that it also goes with Shadow, Laura’s boyfriend, during his conversation with Audrey right after the funeral. However, it was the complete opposite given that love mattered more than anger. He placed a gold coin—that would make Laura trot the world of the living afterwards—into the grave and bade Laura goodnight. For those who haven’t experienced betrayal at its peak, you might find Shadow’s gesture superficial. His girlfriend died while giving another man a good old blow and still, he did all these mushy ways of farewell. What the hell. But kids, I could say that it is normal especially if you really loved the person and the wound is still fresh. The good news though is every little awful thing ends. When someone leaves you a memory of hell, love dies an interminable death.
I started my quick note on American Gods with Audrey, Shadow, and Laura because I found a strong theme of betrayal in the story. If you would read the entire thing, it was all about the powerful ones doing their share of shit into the living just to keep up with the changing world. Uhm, did I just say the powerful ones? I could call it betrayal if someone plants his seeds on my mother and expect me after 9 months only to make me suffer an ounce of excruciating pain every damn second of my life for the sake of his existence. Furthermore, the term holocaust kept on popping up my head.
Still, I gave it 5 stars. Why? Simple. The storytelling itself hurdled the possibility of me getting bored. A couple of mythological characters were not familiar to me but it did not matter. I was able to come out of the ocean alive even if I had no swimming skills. It was a form of education as well because I found out how the Easter I knew was not everyone’s Easter. Also, it was awesome how the magic emphasized the realities of life rather than sugarcoat it. For example, Laura being a zombie reeked of how people sometimes hold on to memories desperately, forgetting that the present is what matters most.
Just read it. Read it for yourself. There are lots and lots of magic in there and you’ll find out how we share the joys and pains of living across the globe.
My favorite part is the last scene wherein Shadow tossed the coin into the air with a flick of his thumb and walked away, leaving the coin in suspension in the midsummer sky— at least in his eyes.