Josiah told me to read this after something Tim talked about at church a while ago. I was a little skeptical cuz I tried to read Gaiman's SANDMAN years and years ago and didn't really care about it. But the concept is so cool [the old gods are alive and lonely and desperate for followers, but humans are only paying attention to the new gods of technology, entertainment, etc.] and I usually try to read anything that people suggest specifically to me.
My main frustration was about who is in here and who isn't. Jesus is referenced in a couple of jokes, but he's not a character. YHWH and Allah aren't mentioned at all. Was Gaiman worried about making monotheists mad by personifying their Gods, or is it just easier and funner to write about Odin and Loki and Thoth and Anubis? And with the new gods, the only ones that show up are the gods of cars, technology, and entertainment. Uuuhhhh, what about, like, the economy? We invented a thing and we threw ourselves upon it. I wanted the final battle to be between The Economy and YHWH and Allah [and wouldn't it have been cool if those two were sort of indistinct - sometimes hard to tell apart, sometimes so alarmingly different that you wonder what you were confused about? Maybe I should have written this book myself].
Anyway, I liked reading this book because it's fun to imagine Odin, sometimes cool sometimes scary sometimes sad, driving a crappy car across the upper midwest. I love to imagine a god-haunted world. I love and understand the etymolgy of the word panic, which originally meant the fear of meeting Pan in unexpected places.
THE SNOW POEMS
This came in the mail on what was at the time the warmest day of 2013, but I read most of it on Palm Sunday, which was a very snowy day, and a day which I enjoyed immensely, if I'm remembering the days right. I wouldn't call the things in this book poems, but I liked them. It reminded me of reading the good kind of blog that I might have found a long time ago, back when the internet was a lot of little outposts of weirdos all huddled together, instead of just another place overrun with everyone's least interesting acquaintances.
Rachel Glaser has written two things that I think are very perfect: the title story from PEE ON WATER, and "Michael Jordan, in general". Neither of those are in this book because this book is poems instead of stories. I love when a poem makes me laugh out loud, and several of these did. Some of them I don't remember. A lot are about people and people, some are about people and animals, some are about God and people, one is about god by himself. GOD and god and God. I've made a lot of people borrow PEE ON WATER in the last two years, and if you were one of them and you liked it, you should borrow this too.
other books I read:
FARMING: A HAND BOOK - Wendell Berry
A PECULIAR PEOPLE: THE CHURCH AS CULTURE IN A POST-CHRISTIAN SOCIETY - Rodney Clapp
WONDER WOMAN VOL. 2: GUTS - Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, Tony Akins
THE SCRIPTURES, THE CROSS, AND THE POWER OF GOD - N.T. Wright