Norse Mythology

Unknown-1By Neil Gaiman

The Short Take:

If you were ever interested in knowing more about Norse mythology but felt intimidated by famous yet dense translations like The Poetic Edda, this treat of a book is perfect for you. And, isn’t everyone into Vikings and Norse culture these days? Especially Thor?

Why?

Norse mythology is very different from that of the Greeks or Romans — there’s much more violence, meanness, gluttony, and general carousing. But best of all, it features one of the most entertaining gods ever — Loki.┬áLoki is handsome, personable, witty, tricky, and a first-class troublemaker. He also features in most of the Norse stories Gaiman retells in this volume.

Gaiman’s goal was not to put a twist on the stories he loves very much, but to make them more accessible to modern readers. Much of ancient Norse culture has been lost, but what remains is exciting to explore. You’ll find interesting, even complex, characters, and a fair amount of humor (though often of the black variety). Keep in mind these gods and their exploits were affiliated with a harsh climate and that hostile environment influences the direction of these tales and the gods involved.

A Little Plot:

The books starts with the creation of the world. Then there are various Norse tales about the gods (the ones Gaiman includes feature Loki in particular). Finally, there’s the destruction of that world. Sort of.

For more about Neil Gaiman and his works (and I highly recommend reading some of Gaiman’s original work), click here.

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One Response to “Norse Mythology”

  1. Donna Migliaccio Says:

    I really enjoyed this book (then again, I like most of what Gaiman writes). Gaiman’s wry sense of humor fits nicely with the rambunctious Norse stories, and even though I was familiar with many of these legends, Gaiman’s retelling made them fresh again.

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