By Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.
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. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge 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.
‘Norse Mythology’ was my first experience reading Neil Gaiman’s writing. I think it was a great place to start. I listened to ‘Norse Mythology’ on Audio with Neil Gaiman narrating and you could really feel the passion that he has for Norse Myth.
The Norse tales are retold with Neil Gaiman’s own twists and experiences which makes them unique to his own interpretation, which his says is the best part of mythology, everyone has their own interpretation of the myths and what they mean.
We hear tales about all the Norse gods including Odin, Thor, Loki, Freya etc and honestly I was enthralled by every single one. I don’t know what it is about mythology that really captures my attention but I never wanted to stop reading. The themes of Ragnorok and the world tree are all discussed throughout the stories with immense detail and passion.
If you are someone who is interested in mythology then this book will be one that you will not be able to put down. I do recommend listening to the audiobook. Firstly because Neil Gaiman himself narrates it which only enhances the experience and secondly, because some of the names and words in Norse myth are really hard to pronounce!
Ease of reading: 9.5/10
Character Development: 9/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 9/10