review  Votan author John James

Votan author John James

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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 sam Oh this book So bad

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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 One of the members

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E 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 couldn't even tel


9 thoughts on “Votan author John James

  1. says:

    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 sourcesIt'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 matterI 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


  2. says:

    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 heshe ever READ the book? I uote 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 storyWritten 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 storyThe premise that the whole of Norse mythology goes back to a Greek Roman who tries to flee from a domestic entanglement into domestic entanglements while following Apollon and actually seeing and speaking with him and bringing war and destruction to the North is a uniue one Yet the further the book gets along the it 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


  3. says:

    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


  4. says:

    Oh this book So bad It feels like it is a million pages long even though it really isn't Perhaps my biggest problem was that there is absolutely zero descriptive language This happened Then this happened Then this happened And then this happened It is hard to care about a story or characters when there is nothing to help you understand them at all


  5. says:

    A fantastic book Our hero Photinus is a sort of Greek Arthur Daley of the ancient world Forced to leave Vienna in a hurry he travels through Germania building up a business empire and creating most of Norse mythology in his wake There's also a trip to Scotland thrown in for good measure which provides a nice philological twist at the end James knows his history and this is cleverly worked in throughout the novel which also in my opinion captures the mindset of Greek and German well It has been billed in some circles as a comic novel but it isn't It's certainly light hearted but it isn't written for laughs Well worth it for anyone interested in the western frontiers of the Roman Empire


  6. says:

    Ah a fine gemstone In the long days before the fall of the Roman Empire Votan describes a visceral world of dark forests regional powers and the creation of GodsAny Gaiman fans should take note of this book


  7. says:

    ugh


  8. says:

    I read the book because Neil Gaiman mentions it in American Gods I couldn't get into the book I kept reading the book feeling like I'm missing something important in what they're saying Maybe the time period is so well researched and so long ago that it's almost like trying to figure out a foreign language I assume lots of research was done but I wouldn't probably notice if it was all made up or not I respect the effort though it may be what came between me and finishing the book Am I just babbling or does that make some kind of sense?I recommend this book to anyone who likes solid historical fiction andor the 2nd century I won't buy the book and have no interest in trying to read it again I think lately I've been reading lots of stuff I'm not liking I'm trying too hard to like books that just aren't my taste just to say I read a variety of stuff I guess I think it's time to get back to what I'm likely to get intoOh by the way my copy of this book was from 1966 a hardcover and it has a different cover than shown


  9. says:

    I couldn't even tell if I liked this book while I was reading it but I sure couldn't stop One of the most engaging novels I've read


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