I’m still very behind on this read along, I should be onto part three by now, or reading for it anyway, but I’ve just finished chapter 6. However, I have time to catch up and here are my first bundle of answers for my participation. Be warned, if you haven’t yet read it, these contain spoilers.
1. What were your initial impressions of Shadow and Mr. Wednesday?
Shadow, first of all, comes across as a very quiet man. We know he’s in prison but you aren’t convinced that he has really done anything wrong, as such, and as the novel goes on we do get hints that in fact it was for his wife Laura that he went to prison. Whilst he isn’t a particularly exciting character to begin with, you connect with him. That is the beauty of Gaiman’s writing. You’re sad for him, you want him to run, you want him to live a safe life but knowing that the accident that killed Laura and his friend may not have been entirely accidental, you know that he can’t.
Mr. Wednesday I think I worked out exactly who he was from the beginning, and he is such an interesting character isn’t he? Not entirely “good”, but I didn’t find myself hating him for it. Okay, towards the beginning he made me feel a little uneasy but eventually my opinion changed and I found myself enjoying his presence.
2. What do you think of Shadow’s wife, Laura? As the novel goes on, does your opinion change?
She is an enigma, is she not? From the beginning when Shadow tells us about her and we experience their phone call before he comes home, it’s very clear that she loves him and he loves her. They are very sweet. But then she dies. And we meet her again. When we meet her again she is different. Being dead she can no longer make use of morals and so her explanation of the affair is quite crass and you feel for Shadow, though, despite it all, he doesn’t seem to blame her so much. This part was very eerie and dark. Mysterious, as well. We are not told how she came to be undead. She appears again towards the end of chapter 6 and whilst she still makes me a little uneasy, it’s also clear that she still loves Shadow on some level, or perhaps it’s the coin around her neck? As she protects him.
3. Gaiman uses a lot of foreshadowing and similes. Do you like his writing style?
I love it! I adore all the hints and foreshadowing and .. ugh it’s amazing. He makes you feel. He creates such clear visual images in your mind. And the foreshadowing and the folklore and mythology is just.. mgmjdnfhask. I’m in love, okay? It’s beautiful in a gothic kind of way. He just seems to see the world through this magical and slightly gothic lense.
4. Do you like the side stories of what the gods are up to while Shadow and Mr. Wednesday go about their business? Do you have a favorite?
Yes! They add layers to the story. If it was just Shadow and Wednesday it could easily become quite formulaic but with these little side stories there is something else, another aspect and it’s so interesting. I loved the story of the Cornish girl who got upto all sorts of trouble before marrying her ‘master’ and having his children, particularly.
5. Do you agree with Shadow and Mr. Wednesday not sharing fortunes? Would you share one?
It is supposed to be bad luck or some such, so I see where it came from. Though it seems to be more of a European tradition as opposed to an American one as Shadow did originally ask to see Wednesday’s. I would, but that’s because I don’t believe in it, whereas for them it’s something quite real and so they are perhaps quite right to keep them to themselves.
6. What do you think of the Clockwork story? Czernobog says “the quickest way is sometimes the longest” do you agree?
It’s so haunting. Didn’t it just give you chills? “That is the world as it is. That is the real world. It is there, in that box.” P135. I mean, come on! *shudder* The world really is a magical and dark place filled with ghouls and creatures beyond our imagination, but those taken by the modern times can’t see it. That is how I saw the clockwork story and as such I jotted down a little quote.
I think it’s difficult to ‘agree’ with “the quickest way is sometimes the longest” because we don’t entirely understand what it means yet. I think it’s important to note that they reached their destination by taking a spiral path. Spirals in pagan religion are a way to raise energy and as such this probably indicated how they were able to get in to Wednesday’s mind for the meeting. How did they get in there? Going round, and round, and round on the carousel. Raising energy. 🙂
7. Do you hold to any legends?
No. Not any more. When I was younger I was a Wiccan, I evolved into a pagan and eventually just didn’t believe any more. I suppose on some level I still believe in energy, how it’s possible to raise energy and relax it within emotions, and perhaps I believe there’s.. something. But no. At some point I did believe in faeries. There is a lot of folklore in pagan Britain which survived the Roman invasion and I think I believed it at some point, but not any more.
8. Who do you think abducted shadow?
I don’t know. They didn’t seem to know him, they just knew he had been seen with Wednesday. It wasn’t anybody a part of the US government, I don’t think, and it can’t have been the modern gods.. I think it’s a new enemy that hadn’t been met yet.