Book Review
- Norse Gods -

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 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. Once, when Thor’s hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman―difficult with his beard and huge appetite―to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir―the most sagacious of gods―is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.

Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerge these gods 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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"Norse Gods" Reviewed

Another mythic masterpiece from Gaiman

Having read the source materials that Gaiman used for this retelling, I have to say that it’s a great piece of work. Given that the different source materials contradict each other at times, getting a coherent story together could have been difficult for most people, but Gaiman is a master craftsman.

What I loved most about this book is that Gaiman manages to weave an entire history of the Norse gods from their origins to the time of Ragnorok, and does so in a series of very entertaining short stories. Each of the gods is a wonderfully complex character, and the entire collection is written in a style reminiscent of the originals. (Admittedly, I’ve only read them in translation)…

4.9/5

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