Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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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.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780393609097
039360909X
Branch Call Number: 293.13 GAI
Characteristics: 293 pages

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b
bidi_bid
Nov 23, 2018

A stunningly presented book, and a great resource to go to for Norse mythology. The idea that we can retell these as suits our needs as storytellers is beguiling.

j
JSM5
Nov 15, 2018

I enjoyed this book very much but, many parts I found myself wanting more. I would read again.

t
Tauriel
Nov 13, 2018

NORSE MYTHOLOGY: NEIL GAIMAN

ACCURACY: The problem with scandanavian and Norse mythology is that we know very little about it. Unlike Greco-Roman mythology, these stories were primarily oral, and it was only during the Christianization when they began to be written down. As a result, when this book said that it was a new way of reading/interpreting Norse Mythology I was relatively skeptical. The stories in this book are the exact same, and if not fewer, than the D’aularies book of Norse Mythology. I didn’t feel as if anything was revived, because unless a new untouched manuscript had been uncovered, it really… hadn’t been revived.
RECOMMENDATION: If you love Neil Gaiman, I guess you’ll want this. I haven’t actually read anything of his apart from this, so if there was some reference to his previous novels I didn’t get it. I bought it because 1) I didn’t have a copy of any mythology book and 2) I really liked the cover… so… yeah.
3 out of 5. 75% fresh. Read it if you want to, but check it out from the library first.

b
BrandonB101
Nov 09, 2018

Phenomenal articulation of tales of Norse Mythos! A trekk through time, culture, and expansive imagination. Absolutely lovely, poetic writings. An amazing masterpiece!

ArapahoeCarmen Sep 19, 2018

I absolutely loved this book! I listened to the audiobook version read by Neil Gaiman himself, it was lovely.

m
Mbussey
Aug 25, 2018

This was one of the most enjoyable books I've ever read. Each chapter offering a modernized adaptation of some of the greatest stories in Norse history. Hilarious and easy to read from front to back.

a
Andrew Kyle Bacon
Aug 08, 2018

For my money, there's hardly anything better than Norse myth. There's a beauty to these stories that lacks any pretense or air of importance. These are folk stories at heart, meant to explain things about the world and how those ancient folk viewed it. The very name of these tales, the "eddas," is possibly derived from the word for "great-grandmother." These are stories grandmothers told.

Neil Gaiman latches on to this and lovingly filters these stories through his own mind and imagination (the process of which he explains briefly at the end of the volume), all the while staying as true to the original sources as he can. This is, to put it simply, clearly a labor of love and it pours off of every page.

There's not much else to say. It's merely a wonderful book.

w
wnoack
Jul 07, 2018

Those who are familiar with Roger Lancelyn Green's novelization of King Arthur and The Knights of The Round Table will find Neil Gaiman's novelization of Norse Mythology to be quite similar in format. A collection of stories focused around a handful of legendary characters - from Thor, Odin, Loki, and many other gods, giants and creatures.

Gaiman's writing, compilation and consolidation of these tales makes for a very enjoyable read. That said, throughout my time with his novel, I found myself coming to dislike many of the gods more and more, to the point where I wasn't looking forward to Ragnarok (the end of all things) for an epic battle and conclusion, but more to see these rather despicable, often spoiled, privileged and sometimes abusive characters finally get what's been coming to them. (Of course, I don't put this criticism wholly on Gaiman - he's simply recounting the stories in an updated format).

Outside of the characters being difficult to like, the stories themselves are fascinating, outlandish, and Gaiman's writing will no doubt transport you to the mythical lands of the Nine Realms and beyond, engulfing you in its legends, cultures and ways.

LoganLib_Kirra Jul 01, 2018

Norse Mythology is the perfect collection of short tales inspired from the familiar characters like Thor, Odin, Loki and the ever looming event of Ragnarok. I’ve only read one short story from Neil Gaiman but I know he’s created some fantastic books that so many readers love and I really understand that after reading this book because it was fun and totally enchanting. I love reading about all these stories he was inspired to write about because they all stem from much older stories from so many years ago and it's a great mix of origin and a fresh take. Overall, it was just a fantastic read and all the stories were perfectly enjoyable!

profdavis Jun 04, 2018

Years ago, back when Neil Gaiman was still writing Sandman, I can recall reading a magazine interview in which he was asked if there was in any superhero character at DC or Marvel he would like to write. He replied that he felt he had a great Thor story to tell but that Marvel would never give him the creative freedom he would need to tell it. When I saw that Gaiman had written a book called Norse Mythology with a big hammer on the cover, my first thought was that he had finally written his Thor story.

Instead what we have is a straight ahead retelling of some of the key Norse myths. Sort of an Edith Hamilton's Mythology for the Norse gods. This is clearly a topic that Gaiman is passionate about, and his description of Ragnarok is the highlight of the book, but these are stories that have been told many times. In his introduction, Gaiman laments all the lost Norse tales that did not survive into modern times. I wish Gaiman had taken it upon himself to reinvent those lost stories rather than retell the known ones. All the stories were made up by somebody at sometime, why not tell new stories of Odin and Loki and the others?

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Mbussey
Aug 25, 2018

“Of course it was Loki. It's always Loki.”

s
shayshortt
Feb 21, 2017

There were things Thor did when something went wrong. The first thing he did was ask himself if what had happened was Loki’s fault. Thor pondered. He did not believe that even Loki would have dared to steal his hammer. So he did the next thing he did when something went wrong, and went to ask Loki for advice.

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Mbussey
Aug 25, 2018

Mbussey thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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shayshortt
Feb 21, 2017

In the beginning, there was nothing but the mist world and the fire world. From these came Ymir, a giant both male and female, the first of all beings. Ymir was slain by Odin, called the all-father, for Odin both created the gods that you will read about here, and breathed life into the first humans. In these pages, Thor will acquire his famous hammer, the mighty Mjollnir. Loki will get his fellow gods into and out of trouble countless times, until he finally plays the trick that will lose him their trust once and for all. Witness the creation of the great walls of Asgard, the genesis of the gift of poetry, and the source of the gods’ immortality, as retold by Neil Gaiman.

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