Friday, June 30, 2017

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

    • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
    • Published February 7, 2017
    • Other works by author include: Stardust, The Graveyard Book, American Gods, Coraline, and The Sandman.

    • The author has taken two main sources of Norse mythology, the Prose Edda (written by the awesomely named Snorri Sturluson, who lived from 1179-1241 CE) and the Poetic Edda, and written the stories of Odin, Thor, Loki and the rest for a modern audience.
    • Each story is an individual part of the whole, from the early days of the gods to Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods.
    • The format is similar to that of a book of fairy tales. 
      • It would be similar to Homer's Iliad told in prose rather than its original (translated) poetic form which can seem a bit flowery for our modern eyes..

    • Despite the book's fairy tale format and style, this is not an appropriate book for children.
      • Even the compilation of fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm aren't really for children. Nor are the Greek and Roman myths. Children get the expurgated versions to learn.
      • Same with the Norse myths: not all parts are appropriate for children. 
      • I would recommend this for junior high and up.
    • The book was a quick read, again due to the fairy tale structure of the stories. In other words, this is not a dense fantasy novel based on the Norse myths; it's the actual Norse myths in all their original glory.
    • I did not know most of these stories, having picked up bits and pieces of the mythology over the years. 
    • Some of the Norse gods are with us every week: Tiw (also known as Tyr) is what Tuesday is named after; Wednesday is named for Odin (Woden in Old English); Thor's Day is our current Thursday; and Friday is named for the goddess Frigg (sometimes called Freya).
    • The main characters are Odin, Loki and Thor. Too many years exposure to Marvel Comics and the related movies have made Thor the big hero but he's doesn't have the sharpest mind in these myths! Loki is the most fascinating character because he's always stirring up trouble at every opportunity.
    • Recommended for those interested in learning more about the Norse mythology in a quick, easily readable format.
    • ★ ★ ★


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  2. Someone prefers Loki over Thor because Tom Hiddleston plays Loki. And obviously, you like the smart men.