Neil Gaiman at House on the Rock
“I couldn’t have written it without living in Wisconsin,” Neil Gaiman told the Star Tribune of his novel American Gods. “There’s that tiny off-kilter nature in the Midwest thats in the details.”
Gaiman, a part time resident of Menomonie, Wisconsin, wrote American Gods at a lakeside cabin about 20 minutes from his home.
The House on the Rock, without a doubt the strangest and most unique roadside attraction in Wisconsin (if not the country) plays a pivotal role in the novel as a meeting place for the Old Gods.
“So what is this place?” asked Shadow, as they walked through the parking lot toward a low, unimpressive wooden building.
“This is a roadside attraction,” said Wednesday. “One of the finest. Which means it is a place of power.”
“It’s perfectly simple,” said Wednesday. “In other countries, over the years, people recognized the places of power. Sometimes it would be a natural formation, sometimes it would just be a place that was, somehow, special. They knew something important was happening there, that there was some focusing point, some channel, some window to the Immanent. And so they would build temples or cathedrals, or erect stone circles, or…well, you get the idea.”
Neil Gaiman and the American Gods cast at House on the Rock
“The House on the Rock is a real place about an hour west of Madison Wi, that I write about in American Gods,” Neil wrote on his website in 2010, “and I had to tone down my description of it and leave things out in the book in order to make it believable.”
I love Gaiman’s work, but when the American Gods series was announced, I was most excited about the possibility of seeing that phantasmagoric location on screen. The fact that it’s in the context of a Neil Gaiman story makes it even more exciting.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the very end of the first season that Wednesday and Shadow arrived in Wisconsin. However, we will definitely see it in season 2. This clip features Gaiman himself at House on the Rock, with a glimpse behind the scenes of the production.
This isn’t the first time the Gods have come to House on the Rock. In 2010 Gaiman kicked off his American Gods 10th anniversary tour there with a Halloween weekend Gathering of the Gods event. Gaiman, along with a limited number of contest winners, even got to ride the carousel.