Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin through their upheaval in Ragnarok.
In, Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cumming; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki-son of a giant- blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.
Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
Norse Mythology was not what I was expecting. I was anticipating something along similar lines as American Gods, but that was not the case. This book was full of the adventures of the Norse gods based on accounts of others. It was essentially a book of short stories.
“Do you wonder where poetry comes from? Where we get the songs we sing and the tales we tell? Do you ever ask yourself how it is that some people can dream great, wise, beautiful dreams and pass those dreams on as poetry to the world, to be sung and retold as long as the sun rises and sets, as long as the moon will wax and wane? Have you ever wondered why some people make beautiful songs and poems and tales and some of us do not?”
I enjoyed it. I flew through the stories. They were entertaining and full of mischief and adventure. I actually feel like I learned something from this book. I’m not going to go crazy talking about this because there really isn’t all that much to say. This book is a creative way of retelling these stories. I thought it was interesting because so many portray the gods as superheroes, but this book does not do that.
As always, Gaiman’s writing is incredible. The way he phrases things is just excellent. He allows the reader to really see what he intends with his words. He makes the pages come alive. I appreciated this book more than I thought I was going to once I realized what it actually was. These stories were fun and interesting and entertaining, and also written beautifully.
“Now I shall tell you of the days to come. I shall tell you how it will end, and them how it will begin once more. These are the dark days I will tell you of, dark days and hidden things, concerning the ends of the earth and the death of the gods. Listen, and you will learn.”
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.
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