I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. It’s one of my favourite books. I’ve read it more times than I can remember, but I wanted to engage with it another way. I’ve really been enjoying listening to audiobooks when I run. Listening to this particular book, in spite of knowing it so well, has been a revelation.

One of the things I like about this great big sprawling tale is the little snippets included at the start of each chapter.  Listening today, this struck me as particularly apposite.

They tried to stand off the soldier, but the men fired and killed them both. So the song’s wrong about the jail, but that’s put in for poetry. You can’t allus have things like they are in poetry. Poetry ain’t what you’d call truth. There ain’t room enough in the verses.

– A singer’s commentary on ‘The Ballad of Sam Bass’.

A Treasury of American Folklore


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