I might be a publisher, but I confess to having split loyalties when it comes to the books vs. television debate. Not because there’s any shortage of brilliant authors – far from it – but rather because I think we are living in a golden age of the small screen. I can summarise my argument in just three letters: HBO. This network has produced some of the finest shows I’ve ever seen: The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Rome, Boardwalk Empire, Angels in America, Generation Kill, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Deadwood, The Wire … the list goes on. I haven’t seen Game of Thrones yet, but I know I’m going to love it (and not just because I work in sci-fi and fantasy).
But there is one particular HBO series in the pipeline that has got everyone here at Headline grinning like maniacs. It is … drum roll please … none other than American Gods. If the prospect of Neil Gaiman’s phenomenal Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel hitting our screens wasn’t enough, he’s writing the screenplay! Excuse me for a moment. I think I need to lie down.
If you are not aware of this Gaiman masterpiece then 1) I don’t think you and I will ever be friends, and 2) here is a brief introduction:
First published in 2001, American Gods follows the adventures of Shadow, a newly-released ex-con. Still reeling from the news of his wife’s sudden death in a car crash, he takes a flight home and finds himself sitting next to Mr Wednesday, a strange man with pale gray eyes. He seems to know a lot about Shadow and almost immediately offers him a job. They embark on the ultimate road trip into the turbulent soul of America, where they encounter Egyptian morticians, an alcoholic leprechaun and a goddess who can devour men with … well, if you haven’t read it, I’m not going to spoil the surprise.
As for the series, it looks like the direction is in the very capable hands of Robert Richardson, who was the cinematographer on some fantastic films including Platoon, JFK, Kill Bill, Shutter Island and World War Z. It will be well over a year until we mortals get to see the finished product … which gives us all plenty of time to read the book again.
Posted by John Wordsworth, Editorial
Neil Gaiman: @neilhimself
John Wordsworth: @theworrierpoet