Introducing an instant classic—master storyteller Neil Gaiman presents a dazzling version of the great Norse myths.
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 giants, 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. (blurb taken from Goodreads)
Gaiman is one of the most talented writers I’ve ever read. His characters are vibrant, complex, often funny and filled with secret passions that drive them. The stories in his books are magical not just because they talk about fantasy but also because he breathes magic into them. His writing style is rich and beautiful and he never disappoints.
Norse Mythology is Gaiman’s retelling of the old myths and it is absolutely superb. The characters in old myths are often flat but his are lively and funny and human. They are flawed like we are and they are driven by their ambitions and secret desires. Thor is portrayed as a powerful but somewhat simple minded god whereas Loki is beautiful and cunning.
It’s hard to pick a favourite story but I’d probably go with the one where Thor dresses up like a woman – that was hilarious! And the one where Loki transform himsef into a mare and then he ends up with a foal and no one is to talk about it. I laughed so hard at that part. But I really enjoyed all of the stories and I loved how they were connected.
As always, Gaiman’s writing is what makes this book a true jem. His writing style is so illustrative and rich and simply put beautiful. He takes certain pieces of a story or in this case a myth and then he makes them his own. And I really liked the fact that in the introduction he said that this is his version of the norse gods meaning you can picture them the way you want to, there isn’t just one way of seeing them.
If you are a Gaiman fan, you’ll love this book. If you’re a mythology freak, you’ll love this book. And even if you’re not all the above still give this book a try. It’s insanely hilarious and you can easily read it in one sitting.