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Votan A comedy set in the second century AD, Votan is the story of a Greek nobleman who is travelling and living abroad in Germany while carrying on an affair with a military man s wife To save his own life he takes an emergency business trip and packs with his belongings certain items that lead the townspeople he encounters to think him a Norse God, which he doesn t try to dissuade them from Written in the same tone as Douglas Adams, the story unfolds in a humorous and adventurous manner as the lead character has to keep up the pretense of being a god while staying one step ahead of his lover s jealous husband I found Votan a really interesting read I m not entirely sure I liked it, but it was mesmerising anyway There s something compulsive about it I just needed to know what the heck Photinus did next, what trouble he got into and how he got out of it, and how that all works into the conceit that he s at the back of a whole lot of Norse mythology Sometimes I felt I wasn t entirely sure what was going on that I d missed a reference or something there s a lot of playing around with the material I found Votan a really interesting read I m not entirely sure I liked it, but it was mesmerising anyway There s something compulsive about it I just needed to know what the heck Photinus did next, what trouble he got into and how he got out of it, and how that all works into the conceit that he s at the back of a whole lot of Norse mythology Sometimes I felt I wasn t entirely sure what was going on that I d missed a reference or something there s a lot of playing around with the material, pulling from different stories and sources.It s been published as both a fantasy and a historical novel, and I m not honestly sure where I d classify it It s almost febrile, somehow all the things Photinus does, all the places he goes reading it felt like a fever dream I lost track of people, places somehow it didn t really matter.I did enjoy it, I think, but I m not so enamoured of it that I m going to read Not For All The Gold In Ireland or Men Went to Cattreath Not entirely sure I want to see John James ride roughshod over Y Gododdin, so I ll skip it I feel cheated I read the book because Neil Gaiman mentions it in American Gods and it is interesting with that perspective in mind But I expected something entirely different after reading the blurb Who wrote it Did he she ever READ the book I quote A comedy no, it s not There are some humourous elements, some mockery, some jokes but not enough to call this a comedy he packs with his belongings certain items that lead the townspeople he encounters to think him a Norse God I feel cheated I read the book because Neil Gaiman mentions it in American Gods and it is interesting with that perspective in mind But I expected something entirely different after reading the blurb Who wrote it Did he she ever READ the book I quote A comedy no, it s not There are some humourous elements, some mockery, some jokes but not enough to call this a comedy he packs with his belongings certain items that lead the townspeople he encounters to think him a Norse God eh no That just isn t in the story Written in the same tone as Douglas Adams definitely no the story unfolds in a humorous and adventurous manner as the lead character has to keep up the pretense of being a god while staying one step ahead of his lover s jealous husband again no the jealous husband is never again mentioned once he he leaves town this also implies that he is actually worshipped and takes part in these rites, which is again, not found in this story.The premise that the whole of Norse mythology goes back to a Greek Roman who tries to flee from a domestic entanglement intodomestic entanglements while following Apollon and actually seeing and speaking with him and bringing war and destruction to the North is a unique one Yet, the further the book gets along theit is just one atrocity piled on the last one, I didn t want to read about another killing, another massacre, another torture, and I couldn t distinguish between Black Danes and Saxons and Vandals and Burgundians etc in the end nor did I want to bother One of the members of my book club chose this book for us to read because Neil Gaiman listed it as an inspiration for American Gods While I can see how that happened, American Gods is one of my favorite books and plodding through Votan was one of the least enjoyable reading experiences I ve ever had There s a lot of and this nation traded with that nation for this good, which traded it with a different nation for another good, which was used for x, y z And, Votan sowed his seed wit One of the members of my book club chose this book for us to read because Neil Gaiman listed it as an inspiration for American Gods While I can see how that happened, American Gods is one of my favorite books and plodding through Votan was one of the least enjoyable reading experiences I ve ever had There s a lot of and this nation traded with that nation for this good, which traded it with a different nation for another good, which was used for x, y z And, Votan sowed his seed with this woman, who liked pretty objects And then he seduced another woman, who was unfortunate looking but fertile and powerful And then he took another woman, and another, and another, none worth discussing in any detail, but all producing children to continue the Votan lineage The difference is that Neil Gaiman can WRITE His prose is magical, and figurative, and full of wonder John James prose, for the most part, is very straight forward except that I still managed to find myself lost, feeling like I was missing information, and wondering who most of the characters were when they popped back up again later in the text And as for the comic bit I guess I snorted when someone bisected a dog which just made me wonder about myself and what this book was doing to me, so starved for humor and whimsy was I All I can say is, I m glad to be done

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