In Gaiman's Annotated American Gods, the annotator often refers to the balance of a paragraph.

For example annotation #73 says "The balance of this paragraph does not appear in the first edition".

What does this mean?

For reference, this is the paragraph for annotation 73:

Shadow ran through the airport, but the doors were already closed when he got to the gate. [73] He watched the plane pull away from the gate, through the plate glass. Then he explained his problem to the gate attendant (calmly, quietly, politely) and she sent him to a passenger assistance desk, where Shadow explained that he was on his way home after a long absence and his wife had just been killed in a road accident, and that it was vitally important that he went home now. He says nothing about prison.


1 Answer 1


In the Wiktionary entry for “balance” we need sense 11 “(law, business) the remainder”, and in the OED we need sense 21:

balance, n.1 21. Commerce slang: The remainder, the rest. Originally U.S.

So the annotation means that the rest of the paragraph was omitted from the first edition. The Internet Archive has a 2001 Headline edition of American Gods in which the paragraph ends after “glass” (page 17). This indicates that in your edition, note 73 is in the wrong place: it should be after “glass”, not after “gate”.

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