Review: “Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman

NorseMythology-feat

Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: W.W. Norton
Genre: Mythology

Description

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly reincarnating Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, the son of giants, a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. From Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerges the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.” (via Goodreads)

 

My Thoughts

While the stories are ancient, Gaiman makes them fresh and lively, as if the antics of the gods and giants only just happened. He revives the myths not as stories to be read but as tales to be told, read aloud to rapt listeners just as they would’ve been done long ago. We are meant to hear, to feel, to imagine Freya’s wrath at being married off without her consent, Thor in a wedding dress, Loki eating an entire banquet. The gods should be experienced, not dryly recounted as if they no longer matter…

To read the rest of my review, head over to Tor.com.

Thanks to W.W. Norton for sending me a review copy.

Do the world a favor and buy this book from your local indie bookstore or borrow it from your public library.

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