20201031 164921 - Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman | Review

33290550. SY475  - Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman | ReviewNorse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on February 7th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Short Stories, Historical Fiction
Pages: 281
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased Book
Buy on Amazon
four stars - Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman | Review

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. 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.

Good afternoon, and today I have a review to tie in with the Norsevember, a Norse themed readathon.  It’s been a lot of fun rediscovering everything that I love about the mythology and I hope you enjoy my review of Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

“Because,” said Thor, “when something goes wrong, the first thing I always think is, it is Loki’s fault. It saves a lot of time.”


It really seemed like I had this book on my shelf forever so when Alex @Spells And Spaceships came up with a super cool readathon, I knew this bad boy was going to finally be given the attention it rightfully deserved.  I’ve often thought I was born in the wrong time and this collection of stories cements that feeling perfectly. 

There are no figures in mythology quite as prolific as Odin, Thor and Loki and they are the foundations to Gaiman’s Norse Mythology.  There are versions of these tales everywhere and you only must pick up a fantasy novel and see that they are seeped in Norse folklore and mythology.  Magic systems, enchanted items and mythical beasts threatening a way of life.  Of course, there is the obvious take and that is from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  I genuinely believe that has brought Norse Mythology back to the popular masses.

Neil Gaiman has brought back to the forefront the much-loved tales from our favourite gods.  They have heart and passion and above all it gives such a taste of camaraderie.  I love reading about epic battles about Vikings but I’m a bit of Newb when it comes to the actual mythology.  I knew of a few of the tales but Gaiman has a way of feeding you the stories, especially if you are a complete beginner, like me, without it feeling like he’s forcing it down your throat. 

Norse Mythology is a very quick read and I ploughed through it in about 4 or 5 hours.  The author brought the tales into the 21st century, kicking and screaming.  I could imagine this becoming an awesome Netflix series where Gaiman just regales Norse Myths with a rolling background of Norse artwork.  It’s one I would set my watch by.  It’s a retelling that instantly gives you the warm and fuzzies.  The only problem I had, was the fact that I wanted more, more detail, more background.  In the immortal words of the pringle crisp – Once you pop you just don’t wanna stop!  


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Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, nonfiction, audio theatre, and films. His works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book.


four stars - Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman | Review