Page 129. " We'll be meeting everyone at a place called the House on the Rock. "

The House on the Rock is a regional tourist attraction south of Green Spring, Wisconsin.

The House on the Rock official website is here.

Photos from inside the House on the Rock are here.

 

 

Page 130. " a piano player was playing something that was intended to have been Ravel's Bolero. "

Bolero by Ravel

Page 131. " They say this was built by Frank Lloyd Wright's evil twin "

Frank Lloyd Wright was recognised in his lifetime as the "greatest American architect of all time."

 

Page 131. " This is the Infinity Room "

 

Page 131. " Walt Disney World would be the holiest place in America "

Walt Disney World is the world's largest resort. It was inspired by Walt Disney's earlier Disneyland, but designed on a much grander scale.

 

Walt Disney World

Page 131. " I think there might be something real in the original Disneyland "

Disneyland is in Anaheim in California. It was the first of the Disney theme parks.

Walt Disney apparently came up with the idea after watching his daughters at amusement parks.

 

California - Disneyland - Mickey Mouse (3)

Page 131. " Ah for the mermaids of Weeki Wachee "

The mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs put on underwater shows using air hoses to breathe.

The official Weeki Wachee Springs site is here.  

 

Page 132. " at the start of any quest or enterprise it behooves us to consult the Norns "

The Norns are a Norse equivalent of the Greek Moirae, goddesses of destiny or fate. Although many Norns were said to exist, there are three well known ones: Urd, Verdandi and Skuld. They draw water from the Well of Uror (fate) and pour it over the branches of Yggdrasil to keep it from rotting.

They are shown here weaving the thread of destiny.

Page 132. " So lets designate this Sybil our Urd "

The modern name Sybil comes from the Greek Sibylla, meaning 'prophetess.'

The most famous Sibyl was the Pythia. She presided over the Greek Oracle of Delphi.

Urd is one of the most important Norns, who decide the fate of man.

 

Page 133. " they came to a room called The Mikado "

The Mikado is a comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan.  Mikado was a title for the Emperor of Japan.

 

Page 134. " Currently they were majestically torturing Saint-Saens' Danse Macabre. "

Danse Macabre by Camille Saint Saens

 

Page 135. " A mechanical machine played Octopus's Garden "

Octopus's Garden is a song by the Beatles, written by Ringo Starr.

Page 135. " Shadow inserted his coin. The drunk in the graveyard raised his bottle to his lips. "

 

Page 137. " this is Mister Nancy "

Mister Nancy is the West African and Caribbean god, Anansi the trickster. He is a cunning spider who can take the form of a man. There are many stories about him; he has become a master of wit and wisdom.

Page 139. " Calliope music played: a Strauss waltz "

A calliope is a musical instrument which was often used in circuses and on riverboats. Its sound is produced by passing steam or compressed air through large whistles.

The name comes from the Greek muse, a daughter of Zeus. Her name means 'beautiful voiced.'

 

 

Johann Strauss II was known as 'The Waltz King.'

Page 139. " And then there was the carousel "

Page 139. " Like a prayer wheel goin' round and round "

Prayer wheels are found in Tibetan buddhism.  Prayers are inscribed on a cylinder.  Turning it is said to have the same effect as speaking the prayers.

Page 141. " The rhythm of the Blue Danube waltz rippled and rang and sang in his head, "

Blue Danube by Johann Strauss II

Page 143. " Wide open and unguarded stand our gates, And through them passes a wild motley throng. "

Unguarded Gates is a poem by Thomas Bailey Aldrich.

It describes people from many different cultures coming to America "bringing with them unknown gods and rites". This is the core idea behind American Gods.

Page 145. " there was another wolf, a twin to the one that Wednesday was riding "

The twin wolves are Geri and Freki, said to accompany Odin like his ravens.

 

 

Another pair of wolves are the offspring of Fenrir: Skoll and Hati, sibling wolves who chase the chariots of the sun and the moon and will one day catch up with them and devour them, heralding the end of the world and Odin's doom.

Page 146. " This is Valaskjalf. It's his old hall.' "
hlidskjalf
Public Domainhlidskjalf

 Valaskjalf is Odin's hall in Asgard.

It has a silver roof, and from it Odin can watch over the universe on his throne, Hlidskjalf.

Page 147. " You think I should tell a story, to start things off? "

Anansi stories are so well known in Ashanti oral culture that the word Anansesem, 'spider-tales', has come to be associated with all kinds of folk tales.  There is even a story to explain where Anansi got all his stories from.

Page 150. " Loki and Thor, Anansi and the Lion-God, Leprechauns and Cluracans and Banshees, Kubera and Frau Holle and Ashtaroth "

The Lion-God is Maahes, an Egyptian god with a lion's head. He is the son of the cat-headed goddess Bast.

 

Cluracans are Irish fairies who resemble Leprechauns. They are generally described as being drunk and surly. If you are nice to them they will protect your wine cellar, but if they feel mistreated they will bring misfortune on your home.

 

Banshee, or 'Bean Sidhe', are female spirits in Irish mythology whose mournful cry can be heard when someone is about to die. They can appear as a beautiful woman or a hag and they are associated with the battle goddess, the Morrigan.

 

Kubera is the Hindu god of wealth. He is seen as 'Regent of the North' and 'Protector of the World.'

 

 Frau Holle, or Holda, is a mythical German woman whose domain includes spinning, childbirth and domestic animals. She is also associated with witches, the Wild Hunt and winter.

 

Ashtaroth is a prince of hell, although his name comes from the Phoenician goddess Astarte, an equivalent of the Babylonian Ishtar and the Sumerian Inanna, goddesses of love, fertility and sex.