Book Review: Norse Mythology

Title: Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

Genre: Mythology

Format: Audiobook

Published: By W. W. Norton & Company on February 7th, 2017

ISBN13: 9780393609097 (US Hardcover edition)

Grade: Outstanding

Norse Mythology

Synopsis

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.

Expectation
I picked up the audiobook for this as there was a sale and decided to give it a try. I must admit that the gorgeous cover is what drew me in, and of course the fact that it is written and narrated by Neil Gaiman.

Reality

My enjoyment of the book was greatly enhanced because I was listening to it. Neil Gaiman is as fantastic a narrator as he is a writer and I really fell in love with how he brought the different characters to life. I also liked the format of the book as it focused on Odin, Thor and Loki’s story rather than try to tackle Norse Mythology in its entirety. He also clearly states that there are several versions of these myths in the very beginning and that he has pieced together material from several different sources to make a cohesive story, which I was impressed by. I was re-acquainted with some of the more famous myths like how Odin became one-eyed, Kvasir’s mead and the origin of Thor’s hammer, while also learning of some new ones such as Loki’s pranks. I saw all these mythical figures take on different human-like personas in the stories which made them more likable to me personally. Overall, I had a really pleasant experience listening to this and has become one of my all-time favourite audiobooks!

Recommendations

This is a great starting point for anyone who is interested in Morse Mythology and a great refresher for those more familiar with it. If you’re not listening to the audiobook, put on the background score of any of Marvel’s Thor movies in the background as they would go perfectly with the atmosphere of this book. As for the food, feast on some rich foods fit for gods! I personally prefer to interpret that as anything with chocolate in it.

Links

Book: Goodreads | Book Depository | Audible

Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads


Comments

Do you read audiobooks? If yes, recommend me some of your favourites as I’m always looking for more! If not, what aspect of it do you find challenging? A popular one is not being able to pay attention all the time and missing key details in the process. Let me know in the comments section below.

10 thoughts on “Book Review: Norse Mythology

    1. I sure think so because I’ve read 2-3 variants very long back and liked this the best! I don’t think anything can match the originals but this makes it more accessible to readers like me who can’t understand the source material as Norse mythology is my favourite (apart from my own), for which I’m grateful. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I also started with re-tellings, it really helped.

        Although I do think you could understand much of the source material if you wanted to now when you know the general storyline. If you ever want to try some of it, Völuspa (first poem in the Poetic Edda dealing with the beginning and end of the world) is a good place to start. You can find it on project Gutenberg although the translations there had lost most of the poetry so a more modern translation might be better. Not trying to push you into reading them if you don’t want to, I just love these stories…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I would LOVE to listen to a Neil Gaiman audiobook someday. He has a sublime speaking voice (then again, many Brits do, IMO! *lol*), and I love how he articulates himself in his interviews and speeches. But I don’t think my life is structured in a way that allows me much time to listen to audiobooks. (Example: My commute to work is 20 to 30 minutes, and I tend to use that time to listen to relaxing music or not-so-relaxing local traffic reports.)

    Anyway. I’m so glad you enjoyed Norse Mythology, Nandini. This was one of my favorite reads of last year, and maybe one of my favorite Neil Gaiman books ever, right up there with American Gods and The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Which reminds me: I should get to Coraline soon, to keep up my one-Gaiman-book-a-year tradition.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. evelynreads1

    I loved this book so much as well! And I’m so happy that I listened to the audiobook, he is the best narrator of his own book!
    I really think I’ve learned something from this book, that always makes me happy 🙂

    (www.evelynreads.com)

    Liked by 1 person

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