Abraham Riesman on “Why Adapting Neil Gaiman’s American Gods for TV Is a Bad Idea”

 

“…And perhaps most offensive, we’ll get the book’s Big Statement About America, which is bizarrely insulting to Native Americans. Near the end of the novel, a Native American with magical powers named Whiskey Jack tells Shadow he’s not a god, but rather a “culture hero,” because the land we call America “is not a good country for gods.”

“There are creator spirits who found the earth or made it or shit it out, but you think about it: who’s going to worship Coyote?” Whiskey Jack tells Shadow. “[W]e never built churches. We didn’t need to.”

Really? No houses of prayer? How, then, do you account for the Longhouses the Iroquois built for their prayer ceremonies? And no true gods that anyone bothered worshipping? That’s an insane generalization about more than ten thousand years’ worth of spiritual culture across an entire continent.

There’s one other cultural shift since 2001 could trip up the American Godsseries: the oversaturation of flawed, macho male protagonists in cable dramas. Unless the series undergoes a truly radical change in its TV adaptation, we’ll end up with a show about a tough guy struggling with inner conflict, a sexy man fighting his demons and solving problems in a changing world. Snore.

None of this is to say American Gods is a bad novel in terms of storytelling. Despite its datedness, it’s an extremely entertaining read filled with vivid scenes, goose-bump-inducing vignettes, and often-gorgeous prose. Fuller and Green are smart guys, so perhaps they’ll jettison or modify all the stuff that could trip the show up. And Neil Gaiman is no doubt aware that some of what he wrote doesn’t quite work these days; if so, in his role as executive producer, he can offer guidance on correcting the course.

Still, we shouldn’t rush to anoint this upcoming text-to-TV translation as the next mind-blowing thing quite yet until we see whether the source material can work in 2014…”

 

From here.

What do  you guys think? Does the series sound promising?

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, and goodreads.]

What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? // October roundup:

In case you missed the whole month of October on this blog/are too lazy to keep on scrollin’, here are some highlights:

We asked the Internet why J.K. Rowling didn’t self-publish her Robert Galbraith novel if she really wanted her pen name to stay a secret.

Gabbler wrote an essay over post-apocalyptic stories.

We shared some thoughts on Lev Grossman’s The Magicians series and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series.

Gabbler recommended a bunch of crap. Like Halloween Songs and this comedian.

We gave you a look at B.L.A.’s original manuscript for THE AUTOMATION preface.

Here is a reminder of some of our social media accounts.

Out now - in paperback and ebook formats
Out now – in paperback and ebook formats

“Prepare yourself, Odys,” Dorian said, his ambivalent tone missing the same caution of his words. “You’re going to meet Bob.”

For Robyn Bob.

In other news, you can now find THE AUTOMATION on Smashwords.

Meet our character Bob in THE AUTOMATION
Meet our character Bob in THE AUTOMATION