I was just wondering if some of the Gods on the book were just made up by Gaiman? I'm rereading the part where Shadow dreams of the forgotten gods and I can't seem to identify these guys:
"Close to him was the skull of the mammoth, polished and brown, and a hair ocher cloak, being worn by a small woman with a deformed left hand. Next to that were three women, each carved from the same granite boulder, joined at the waist: their faces had an unfinished, hasty look to them, although their breasts and genitalia had been carved with elaborate care; and there was a flightless bird which Shadow did not recognize, twice his height, with a beak like a vulture's, but with human arms..."
Personally I thought these were meant to represent un-named prehistoric gods, and the point was that, yes, Neil made them up, because we have no memory whatsoever of them. Many of the named gods in the book are no longer worshipped, but they can appear because we still know of them. However, these gods are the ones which we have no record of, and so we can only imagine. Of course, they may be based on real archaeological finds, you would have to do some research to find out.
I am totally agreed to what historygirl05 has said here. I also personally feel the same. The best quote by Neil Gaiman, in American Gods is “What I say is, a town isn't a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it's got a bookstore it knows it's not fooling a soul.”
I just joined this group and wanted to see if people enjoyed American Gods as much as I have... (so far anyway) I am only 1/2 way through it! But I've been reading mythology since I BEGAN reading... the woman with the mangled left arm... is it possible she might represent Joan of Arc? (Being left-handed was something that was added to justify ger BURNING)...
The flightless bird could be taken from Australian aboriginal myths... I seem to remember an individual wanting to FLY so he/SHE (?) traded their ARMS for the (Since it was Australia: EMU)'s WINGS and it allowed them to fly!