Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

by on October 5th, 2017
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman Cover Image

You probably don’t need any encouragement to read a Neil Gaiman book.  They are treats to be savored, and, honestly, Gaiman writing about Norse mythology is a bit of a no-brainer.  Like peanut butter and chocolate together.  If you’re on the fence at all, though, let me tell you this: I liked it even MORE than I was expecting to.

Norse Mythology has Neil Gaiman retelling the tales of Odin, Thor and Loki that he fell in love with in his youth.  Gaiman was introduced to the characters the same way that I was–from reading the Thor Marvel Comics.  I was astonished by how different the characters were from their comic book counterparts.  These are self-absorbed, competitive, and temperamental gods, but strangely likable.  It was always amusing to hear that Loki was Thor’s first suspect when any mischief occurred.  Actually, I was surprised by how humorous the stories were in general.  I found myself laughing out loud at the god’s shenanigans and Gaiman’s witty writing.

We get 15 separate stories that, when you read them all, feel like an adventure or journey with old friends.  The stories are told roughly in chronological order and flow into each other well.  He begins with the creation myth which was my least favorite.  I need characters and relationships.  Once those were introduced, there wasn’t a single tale that was a miss.  The stories culminate in Ragnarok: The end of all things, but there’s beauty in the destruction.  There’s rebirth and hope and the promise of new tales.  I listened to half of the book as a Book on Disc.  Gaiman reads it himself, and his voice adds magic.  One of my favorite reads of the year.

 

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