I have no doubt in my mind that Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology will become the go-to resource for anyone interested in Norse myths because 1) it’s Neil Gaiman and he seems to have a Midas touch with his books, 2) the next closest thing is Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda from the 12th Century so it’s about time, and 3) it’s just a really good book.
The Norse myths have finally gained some recognition lately, due in some part to Marvel’s Thor and Avengers movies, as well as the moderately recent Lord of the Rings films (Tolkien readily adapted Nordic mythology into his stories of hobbits and elves and dwarves) and even Rick Riordan … author of a number of series’ for younger readers using existing mythology as a backdrop for his tales Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and now Norse … has gotten into the act with his Magnus Chase series. But it all starts with the myths and Gaiman has updated the myths, brilliantly.
Gaiman has a special knack for myth-telling and he re-tells these classic Norse tales in his own unique way, embellishing a little here and there. …Which of course is precisely what the reader is hoping for. My personal favorite embellishment here is Gaiman’s take on the Mead of Poetry. If you search online you can get to know the classic Sturluson story, but Gaiman’s is not only funnier, it actually makes just a little more sense.
I read through the Prose Edda about six years back when doing some research for a project. It was fantastic to read the myths and the tales and I wanted to go out and tell everyone I knew to read them. That wasn’t likely to happen, of course, but with Gaiman’s re-telling, many more people will start to know these stories — and that’s a really good thing. These stories will now by accessible and much-read. My only request … please tell more of them.
Looking for a good book? Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology is the modern myth-master’s re-telling of these Nordic classics. It is delightful and anyone with even the slightest interest in mythology or story-telling, should read this.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Neil Gaiman
publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
hardcover, 304 pages