Review: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

norse-mythology-coverTitle: Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

Published: February 7th 2017 by W. W. Norton & Company

Genre: Mythology, Fiction, Short Stories

Series Information: Standalone

Format: Hardcover, 304 pages

Source: Personal purchase

Recommended For: Mythology and History buffs who want a quicker read of the Poetic Eddas with witty prose.

Goodreads Rating: 4.27

My Rating: ✰✰✰✰✰

 

As someone who loves learning about the history of different cultures, mythology tends to be one of my favorite subjects to read about. For one of my college courses, we had to pick a work not originally written in English to use as a basis for a creative piece, the Poetic Eddas was my choice for the project. Let’s just say that even with the translations on the market, they’re pretty heavy to read through.
This book was on my radar when it was first announced then somehow I lost my list of books-to-read. Thanks to a friend of mine on Facebook, I was quickly reminded and ran over to the bookstore to grab myself a copy. I am currently in the middle of reading Night Circus, but with this being a shorter book I figured I could take a quick break.
Norse Mythology was read in about a day. The short stories contained in the book are quick to digest, even if you’re trying to navigate the correct pronunciation of Norwegian names. The book starts with a refresher on the main Norse pantheon: Odin, Thor, and Loki – these three are always the main focus of the mythology. Even though Gaiman makes a point to explain how these Gods appear in the original myths, I cannot help but imagine their Marvel equivalents from the movies. One character I was happy to read more about was Freya – Gaiman gives her such a sassy spirited character that made me laugh out loud a few times. The stories themselves are fascinating from the creation of the nine worlds and the many races within them to awkward situations (Thor in a wedding dress or Loki birthing Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse) and the end of times, Ragnarök. Also included at the end of the book is an index of the various Gods, Goddesses, and items mentioned throughout the book for quick reference to their stories.

I personally really enjoyed this book and retelling of the Eddas – Gaiman has written a wonderful rendition of these northern tales.

Purchase a copy for yourself here: Norse Mythology

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