Many would agree that this is good book, even profound - it just wasn't a good fit for me. It was recommended on Writing Excuses, and I've heard that many people consider it one of their favorites and absolutely love it, so don't let me discourage anyone who wants to read it. I might have enjoyed it more if I knew my Greek/Roman history better. I'm sure that there is a lot more meaning here than I am getting. It reminded me somewhat of Nietszche, mostly for the idea that human belief creates realities. There was a lot of metaphorical and interesting word plays and the portrayal of the various gods was as amusing as I'd heard it described.
A few things that made it difficult for me to read: There were at least three sex scenes and lots of language. Lots. Of. Language. Language I can understand, in military books, for example. But this was just a lot of language in ordinary scenarios, sometimes taking up a whole line with the f word repeated 3-4 times, or 40% of certain paragraphs of dialogue being obscenities. That's more frustrating. I'm pretty sure it beat Snow Crash. *ponders* And, except for one, the sex scenes didn't seem to be important to the plot at all. However, I could have borne with that better, if I had found the plot more engaging. What really made it rough to finish was that the premise of the book wasn't compelling to me: that of the old gods fighting the new ones. It was amusing though.
It was definitely one of the strangest books I've ever read, and I rather enjoyed wondering what else completely weird would happen. You never knew what to expect. I'm a fan of the strange, and Gaiman does that REALLY well. Although it was interesting and even suspenseful, I couldn't get into it and I felt a resistance to reading it. I enjoyed Gaiman's Neverwhere a lot more. By the end, the reader did eventually get to figure out most of what had been going on. It just took about 80% of the book to start answering questions. And, it was kind of sad, but I didn't mind that so much.
I have to say this for Gaiman - his use of metaphors is without parallel, and his descriptions are as unique as they are excellent. I love that about him. No one else writes like him. The ways he describes things are bizarre, but also apt, and gives a crystal clear picture of a thing, sound, smell, or sight in one's mind. I would like to take some of that quality, for improving my own writing. I have a LOT of trouble with descriptions - it's probably my weakest area.