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: I finished reading American Gods last night. I was thinking of how to rate it on my ending/rest-of-book system when I realized that it's not that I rate the ending separately; I rate each major twist separately. American Gods had a main-plot twist and a subplot twist. The subplot twist was seriously telegraphed, superfluous, and horror-y in a way that I don't like but that I accept I'll encounter if I pick up a Neil Gaiman book. The main-plot twist was not as telegraphed, original, and much more interesting. I was going to complain about various aspects of the book but the twist rendered them moot; I'm impressed! Gaiman set me up and knocked me down!

The premise behind American Gods is a twist on an old favorite: it explores what happens to deities when humans stop worshipping them. Oddly enough, it seems to be an old favorite solely among British authors: the other two books on that topic I've read were by Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams (there's also a history book called God's Funeral, by a Brit, which touches upon it). The premise twist (as distinguished from the plot twists, mentioned earlier) was a good one. The characters were well-developed stereotypes, which makes sense.

Conclusion: I liked it a lot, but I liked the middle most. Sumana tells me that Shweta really liked the end. I consider Shweta a better guide than myself to what parts of a book you will like because you, like Shweta, are a discerning reader who enjoys dramatic denouements, whereas I get sidetracked by little details that I think are cool.

: Incredible looks-tacky-but-isn't APOD. Hope I get to see the eclipse and don't forget about it the way I forget about everything else.

: From Brian: The UNIX Rosetta Stone.

: Kevin: "I've noticed that the worse the economy gets, the more that porn spam tends toward the extremes."

: Product Placement Search Requests: why mountain dew is now the talk of the teen circuit

The "teen circuit"? The "teen circuit"??

"I say, Topper, how are things on the old teen circuit, don't you know?"

"Oh, simply smashing, Muffy, old sport. I say, you must try this 'Mountain Dew'. Absolutely top hole. Bertie discovered it whilst slumming in the Hamptons."

Update: it's the headline of an old Wall Street Journal article, which just proves my point.

: I saw the eclipse (which is to say, I saw the projection of the eclipse onto a piece of scratch paper). Go see it (if available in your area)!


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