We first meet Shadow Moon as he is being released from prison three weeks early due to the tragic death of his wife. Not knowing what to do next, he is asked by a stranger if he wants a job. Shadow has no other options so he takes the job blindly. In Neil Gaiman’s own words this is a release from prison, a road trip, and a corrupt town all balled into one big book.
My biggest problem with this book is its sheer length. While parts of it are really good and engaging, drawing you right in, there are other parts that have so many useless facts that I felt really hard pressed to keep listening. Shadow is a very personable protagonist and even with his flaws you find yourself becoming increasingly fond of him and what he continues to go through. It helps that all the other characters are so vile that they make him shine in comparison. I can’t get into the antagonist without really giving anything away. It really kept me guessing throughout the story. I think that’s another one of this book’s greatest points, it leaves you wondering just enough so that you keep reading even when you don’t really want to.
I gave this book a 4 out of 5. It is seriously bizarre and has some strong sexual content that may not be for everyone. I’m a fan of bizarre and at times it was even too out there for me. I’ve always heard amazing things about Neil Gaiman and this is the first book I’ve read by him and I have to say I’m a bit disappointed. I may have started with the wrong book from his library. I will give another a try to see if my opinion improves. This was definitely not a bad book. I liked it. But I expected to be floored due to the reception he’s received and I just wasn’t floored by this and I will probably never read it again. But I do encourage everyone to give it a try and see for themselves.