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Norse Mythology Hardcover – February 7, 2017 by Neil Gaiman (Author)

In "Norse Mythology", Neil Gaiman retells the Norse stories about the forming of the world, the creation of Yggdrasil and the Nine Worlds, how Odin lost his eye, how the gods got their treasures, Loki’s children, Thor’s journey to the land of the giants, the death of Balder, Ragnarok, and more. Gaiman previously adapted the Norse stories in some of his other works, like "American Gods" and "The Sandman" comics, but here he tells the stories in their own setting. Like any storyteller, he’s updated the language a bit, except where older vernacular adds weight, and focuses on certain elements over others, but the major points of the stories hold true. Gaiman’s update demonstrates why these stories remain relevant and continue to enthrall us. Fans of Thor, Odin, and Loki will find plenty to enjoy and younger readers wanting to know more about the characters they read about in comics or see in movies, much like Gaiman first learned of Thor from Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s stories, will learn to love the original tales from this retelling. Based on his previous work, Gaiman appears to have been working toward this for awhile and he doesn’t disappoint. Check it out! Review An Amazon Best Book of February 2017: Neil Gaiman putting his own fingerprints on the Norse myths? Cue the hyperventilation of delighted readers. That reaction is genuinely earned in this tight retelling, as Gaiman darts between a Tolkienesque tone in the epic origin stories and his own bright wit in the tales centering on the adventures of Thor, Loki, and Odin. Those new to Norse mythology might be astonished by how bizarre some details are. (For example, the ship made of the fingernails and toenails of the dead might make you wonder how much the Vikings genuinely enjoying sailing.) The doomsday of Ragnarok will cause a jolt of disquiet among those who are used to Hollywood endings, and Thor himself will be a surprise for those who are familiar with Hollywood Thor—but those surprises are often where the fun lies. Fans more well-versed in Norse myths should still appreciate the humor and spark that Gaiman infuses into the stories he has selected to retell, adding to the existing rich literature. Many who read Norse Mythology will make this volume their joyful leaping-off point into a strange and mesmerizing world of gods, giants, undead goats, betrayals, a slanderous squirrel, elves, dwarves, and Valkyries. And don’t forget that ship made of the finger- and toenails of the dead. —Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review

Norse Mythology Hardcover – February 7, 2017 by Neil Gaiman (Author) Review

I bought this book right when it released at midnight and being hard to put down, I read it completely through the night. It was a fairly quick read but very enjoyable. As I recently read my first novel by Gaiman, I was interested in his writing style and intrigued to hear he would be retelling Norse Mythology. Coming into the book, I only knew the basics of Norse Mythology so I was excited to learn more about it. It is clear Gaiman has a great interest in the subject and he put a lot of care into it. These are stories that have been told over and over again and this is another retelling to pass through the countless generations these stories have survived. He retells the stories as chronologically as you can, and keeps the story flowing as it jumps around each chapter telling a new story and each story just as interesting as the last. The stories he chose were all fascinating, there wasn’t a single one that was boring. If you want to find out more about Norse Mythology this is definitely a fantastic read and a good place to start. -Read Reviews-

Some complain that when compared to Gaiman’s other works, Norse Mythology falls a bit flat. The goal of this project was not to tell new stories, but to breath new life into the old stories. Gaiman stays true to the source materials and presents the stories of Thor and Odin and Loki and all of the Norse gods in a language that feels fresh and engaging. I’ve worked my way through the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda and they are anything but an easy read. The prose of a millennia past is something of a hot mess. Gaiman has done all of the painful research for us and given us the old stories gift-wrapped in tight, modern language and a clarity and singular narrative that old Snorri Sturluson was incapable of providing. If you want new and exciting stories about Thor and the gang, pick up a Marvel Comic book or Rick Riodan’s Magus Chase series. But if you have a genuine academic interest in the old Norse stories, you’ll learn more from spending a day with Gaiman’s Norse mythology than you will learn from spending a year sifting through the Prose and Poetic Edda and it will be a hell of a lot more fun.

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