Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman – Review
Odin is the all-seeing father. Thor is the lightening god with the magic hammer. Loki is the trickster who is out to help himself. They are all waiting for the end of times, when they will fight and die only for the world to be reborn again. Dive into the stories of these heroes and myths and find out their origin stories.
I am a huge fan of mythology. I fell in love with it back in middle school when we studied Greek and Roman mythology. I thought the stories were fascinating and was even more fascinated by how they connected to our time today. You could see how they influenced people and then see how those influences changed over time.
I knew a tiny bit about Norse mythology but not a ton. I knew who Odin, Thor and Loki were but that was really where my knowledge ended. When I picked up this book I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I didn’t know if it was a generic retelling, a story that used Norse mythology characters or a reworking of the stories. In the end it is a collection of Norse myths that Gaiman compiled and made his own.
I really enjoyed the collection because I felt like it gave just enough about the myths. I didn’t tell them all but it told the important ones (as far as I can tell). You got to hear the origin stories, the adventure stories and more about Ragnarok. It did a good job at giving me a crash course in these myths.
I think I felt like I could connect to the stories because he modernized the language a bit. I felt like he didn’t use the vernacular from that time and gave it a modern twist. I felt a bit like in portions I was reading about the versions of Thor and Loki from the movies. I liked this because I felt like I could sink into the tales a bit more because I wasn’t spending as much time trying to figure out exactly what they were saying.
One of the book series I loved as a teenager was called Everworld by K.A. Applegate. It was a quick read but I remember it involving a lot of different myths and legends. As I read through this book I started remembering some of the characters like Hel. I remember them from that series and now I want to reread that series to see how things compare.
At the beginning of the book Gaiman mentions that he took a few liberties with the stories. He talks about how he rearranded bits and combined stories. At the back of the book he quickly tells where he got each story from but nothing much about what he might have changed or altered. He quickly mentions some but I wanted a bit more.
As I stated I have very limited knowledge about Norse mythology and I wanted to know a bit about what he changed or what he kept the same. I think it would have been nice after each story to have a one pager thing stating what he changed and maybe why. Would have just been interesting to know.
I can’t think of anything that I wanted to change. It kept my attention. I was able to follow everything and I felt like I learned quite a bit.
I gave the collection 4 stars on Goodreads. I had fun growing my knowledge of this type of myth.