Author: Neil Gaiman
Blurb (as on Goodreads):
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 through 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. Though 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.
“The Norse myths are the myths of a chilly place, with long, long winter nights and endless summer days, myths of a people who did not entirely trust or even like their gods, although they respected and feared them.”
Neil Gaiman is a master storyteller. I say this because I got the opportunity to listen to the audiobook which was read by Neil himself. And as much as I appreciate (and love) his writing skills, he is also a genius when it comes to actually reading out the story for us readers. He made me laugh at the Norse gods, cringe when they became proud and arrogant, and dread the Ragnarok- the end of the world, followed by a new beginning.
Norse Mythology can also be regarded as an anthology. The author has collected the different stories, or more appropriately, folklores related to the Norse Gods and giving it his characteristic charisma. Each story tells us how each god came into existence and how they acquired their weapons, which are an integral part of them. For example Thor’s hammer, which was a gift from the dwarfs. And there are giants and ugly, barbaric creatures who can kill you in the blink of an eye. Gods of knowledge and beauty, of hell and time, all come together in this book.
Neil Gaiman has written these stories his way, adding hints of humor, fear, and sadness. This is one book that can only be read, in order to absorb its essence. Incredible storytelling, indeed!