Book Club: Norse Mythology
Book Club: Norse Mythology
Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and if there's one thing he does extremely well, it's spin tales. I think that's why some of my favorite books by him include American Gods, Anansi Boys, and Stardust - those books involve elements of folklore and legend and allusions of fairy tales. When Norse Mythology came out I was so excited to read it and I downloaded it on Audible as soon as I could.
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 though 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 cunning; 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.
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I admit, I never knew many stories from Norse Mythology so I had a blank canvas going into this book. Greek and Roman mythology was more my forte but the more I read American Gods, I kept thinking, "I wish I knew more about Norse myths so I could get more of the references Gaiman is trying to make." I think Neil Gaiman is a good storyteller and these retellings of classic Norse tales of Gods and Goddesses were perfectly told.
This book contains several stories of various Gods. A few names were familiar to me, thanks to Marvel (like Loki and Thor), and others weren't as familiar to me, like Freya and Balder. All of the stories were brand new though, and I feel like even those most familiar with Norse myths would enjoy the stories all over again, thanks to Gaiman. The stories are Norse but told true to Gaiman's authentic style - with a bit of wit, humor, charm, and lots of complicated characters. The book is well paced (nothing I hate more than slow pacing), and action-packed so you're never bored.
Like I mentioned earlier, I had the Audible version of this book so I got to hear Gaiman himself narrate his book. His deep booming voice is perfect for audiobook narration. You can hear the passion in his voice for these stories and it's really magical at times. If you do decide to pick up the book, I owuld highly recommend the audiobook version as well.
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