Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology

eBook - 2017
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Presents a rendering of the major Norse pantheon that traces the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and the exploits of its characters, illuminating the characters and natures of iconic figures Odin, Thor, and Loki.
Publisher: New York :, W.W. Norton & Company,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393609103
0393609103
Characteristics: 1 online resource (299 pages)
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks

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l
Linyarai
Apr 15, 2018

I loved this, it was a fantastic retelling of Norse myths in a way that kept the characters interesting and easy to keep track of.

d
deebitner
Mar 15, 2018

Reading Neil Gaiman is usually a joy, but I found many reasons to be more delighted than usual with this lovely volume of Norse myth. I am going to go ahead and say this is a five of five star review, and I'm happy to say why.

To begin with, this is a book which can in large part be shared with children. The ancients weren't known for being delicate about sex and violence, but Gaiman has a great way of getting those points across in a way kids can understand. (See "The Wolves In The Walls" or "Coraline" for his style - they're scary, even bloody, but they're not gross.) I thoroughly enjoyed reading parts out loud to my son, and he laughed and made faces at all the right parts. Obviously, with any book it's parental discretion, but I found this fantastic to share.

Next are the sources of the humor. This is a bit more subtle, but oh-so-welcome. It doesn't take a genius to understand that sexism is and has been a thing for generation upon generation. (Although less in the Nordic cultures than many - a point Gaiman clearly enjoys.) Some of the biggest myths have people dressing up as the opposite sex, or even changing form into another species. Gaiman never makes that the source of a joke, though. Instead, he finds other things to make funny, like a giant waiting for his stallion to return, or Thor being told (over and over again) to shut up. I like that much better than shaming humor.

Gaiman doesn't mind at all writing his dialogue to be read or spoken aloud. (Far from it - he makes a point of that in his introduction.) And who better than a comic book writer to appreciate the gift he's been given by the Marvel movies? He makes it clear that the Marvel characters are not the same as their mythological predecessors. At the same time it's obvious that Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, and Idris Elba could have read these lines and enjoyed them. I am not ashamed of having heard the dialogue in these talented voices and hope others will get as big a kick out of it as I did.

I haven't yet read the Sagas and the Eddas myself. I know that may have impacted my enjoyment here, but I can only recommend this book as one more in a series of tellings of tales that still live as long as we tell them.

s
sstpierre
Mar 13, 2018

Light and fun reading.

h
humbleworm
Dec 23, 2017

As a child, I read all the Norse myths and preferred them over the Greek/Roman ones, which I also read. I didn't find Gaiman's retelling particularly inspired or engaging unfortunately, but then I was expecting a novelization.

k
kguerito
Nov 14, 2017

Great book, I thought it was hilarious to read the story how Thor got his hammer stolen and he had to dress up in drag to steal it back, or how bad poetry was created by Odin's wet farts.

k
kwsmith
Oct 29, 2017

This short non-fiction book is an easy-to-read retelling of the well known old Norse myths. Gaiman's highly accessible writing breathes new life into familiar characters, such as Thor and Loki. I particularly enjoyed Gaiman's clever introduction.

w
wyenotgo
Aug 11, 2017

Within the panoply of all the world's great mythologies, the Norse surely stands out as the most violent and bloody, reflecting the society from which it arose. This is the most complete collection I've yet found and being presented in contemporary English, it's the most accessible rendition. However, no writer could hope to make this set of stories and characters match the scope and grandeur of the ancient Greek myths; and it lacks the sheer charm and humanity of the Migmaw legends. All that said, Gaiman did a fine job of pulling it all together.

m
MathiasNorthwind
Jul 02, 2017

i loved this,it was so clear,clean and informative!

h
hgibbins
Jun 29, 2017

A very good retelling of Norse Mythology. The author covers the stories in sequence, which is something that is not frequently done. Most authors emphasize certain stories, and exclude other entirely but this volume was fairly complete.

t
tallenc
Jun 19, 2017

Disappointing.

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s
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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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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