Of pretentious gods and stupid giants.
For fans of: well... norse mythology
Blurb: Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly reincarnating Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, the son of a giant, a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. From Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerges the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
Cover: It's. So. Beautiful. Ermagherd. Look at Mjöllnir, what a beauty!
I got the Hardcover edition and I don't regret it at all.
Content: This book is basically Neil Gaimans very own retelling of norse myths. There isn't anything new to me in there, since I'm studying Scandinavian Studies. But it was a fun read and I couldn't detect any mistakes. The author has definitely done his research.
I've never been able to decide what story I like best. My faves are the one where Mjöllnir gets stolen and Thor and Loki have to dress up as women, then the one with Idunn's apples and Balder's death. Especially that scene where Thor kicks a dwarf into the fire, just because he's angry that Balder is dead and the dwarf only happened to walk by at the wrong moment. Classic Thor.
Writing Style: He keeps to the order of the stories (from the origin of everything to Ragnarök), but mixes different sources and adds his own interpretations. Not very scientific, but I'd say it's okay since those stories have been told orally over centuries and every teller has added their own style.
I also liked who he described the characters, because he only used facts that we know for certain and still wrote modern dialogues that sound so very like them.
My conclusion: This book is something everyone should have on their shelves.
My rating: 5/5 Buttons