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Norse Mythology

by Neil Gaiman

23 Reviews

Norse Mythology
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Overview

Overview

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Introducing an instant classic—master storyteller Neil Gaiman presents a dazzling version of the great Norse myths.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 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. Once, when Thor’s hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman—difficult with his beard and huge appetite—to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir—the most sagacious of gods—is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerge these gods 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.

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Product Details
ISBN-13:
9780393609097
9780393609097
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
02/07/2017
Pages:
304
304
Sales rank:
3,735
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)
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About the Author

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the author of the New York Times best-selling A View from the Cheap Seats, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The Graveyard Book, Coraline, Neverwhere, and the Sandman series of graphic novels, among other works. His fiction has received Newbery, Carnegie, Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner Awards. His novel American Gods will be a TV series airing in 2017. Originally from England, he lives in the United States, where he is a professor at Bard College.

Hometown:

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Date of Birth:

November 10, 1960

Place of Birth:

Portchester, England

Education:

Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
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Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

12/12/2016
Having already appropriated Odin and Loki for his novel American Gods, Gaiman turns his restless imagination to a retelling of Norse folklore (a youthful interest of his). He begins by introducing us to the three main mythological figures: Odin, the highest and oldest of the gods; his son, Thor, who makes up in brawn what he lacks in brains; and Loki, offspring of giants and a wily trickster. In a series of stories, we learn how Thor acquired his famous hammer, Mjollnir, how Odin tricked a giant into building a wall around Asgard, the home of the gods, how Loki helped Thor retrieve his hammer from the ogre that had stolen it, and how a visit to the land of the giants resulted in the humbling of Thor and Loki. In most of the stories, a consistent dynamic rules as one god tries to get something over on another god, but novelist that he is, Gaiman also provides a dramatic continuity to these stories that takes us from the birth of the gods to their blood-soaked twilight. Employing dialogue that is anachronistically current in nature, Gaiman has great fun in bringing these gods down to a human level. Like John Gardner in Grendel, a classic retelling of Beowulf, and Philip Pullman in his rewriting of Hans Christian Andersen stories, Gaiman takes a well-worn subject and makes it his own. (Feb.)

Publishers Weekly
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Customer Reviews (23)
A satisfying and coherent telling of the Aesir
In a style true to the source materials, Neil selects a handful of norse tales and orders them in a way that they build on each other nicely. Also, his rendition of Ragnarok is masterful, painting a striking scene of the end of the world. I loved it.
- Anonymous
March 4, 2017
- NookSwami
March 9, 2017
I tried to read the tales of the Norse Gods as told to us by Edith ...
I tried to read the tales of the Norse Gods as told to us by Edith Hamilton. I could not get into the stories. Perhaps it was because I felt like Ms. Hamilton was talking AT me instead of TO me; perhaps it was because they were confined to the end of “Mythology”, after we had already read about the major Greek and Roman gods, and the minor Greek and Roman gods, and the really minor Greek and Roman gods, and the second cousins and casual acquaintences of the really minor Greek and Roman gods … Noted fantasy writer Neil Gaiman has decided to take his turn at telling us the tales of the Norse Gods. While he may also be talking at us, he has adopted the persona (in spirit and tone, at least) of a trusted elder telling us tales that were told to him many years ago, rather than as a college professor earning their paycheck by providing lectures to the undergraduates. Like me and so many of us, Mr. Gaiman was first exposed to the gods of the Scandinavian people courtesy of their modern-day adaptations by Stan Lee, Larry Leiber, and Jack Kirby of Marvel Comics. (Those who automatically picture Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston in their minds when “Asgard” is mentioned indirectly share this experience.) As such, Mr. Gaiman can identify with us and relate the original stories in ways that the modern audience can understand and appreciate. Special mention must be given to his final chapter on Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods. Mr. Gaiman cleverly alludes to many ways that modern man has been warned that he may destroy the earth in describing how the final war between the beings of Norse mythology may witness their world’s end. Could it be nuclear war / nuclear winter? Perhaps global warming? While these modern concepts are never mentioned, it does not take much of an imagination to draw a parallel between the book’s descriptions and those that have been described in the Science section of the newspapers. As always, Mr. Gaiman has excelled. His newest effort is definitely worth a look. RATING: 5 stars P.S. I loved the short exchange in which Sif questions why Thor automatically assumed that Loki was responsible for the loss of her hair. Thor replies “… when something goes wrong, the first thing I think of is, it is Loki’s fault. It saves a lot of time.” DISCLOSURE: I was awarded a free copy of this book in a random draw. No requirement of a review was made, let alone any conditions on the tone / content of a review, however, it was suggested that “an honest review would be appropriate”.
- Andrew_of_Dunedin
February 22, 2017
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    Norse Mythology
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    Norse Mythology
    Pub. Date: 02/07/2017
    Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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    Pub. Date: 03/06/2018
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    Pub. Date: 02/07/2017
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