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.
This is not an easy book for me to review, especially since it is not strictly a piece of fiction. It is more of a direct narration of ancient Norse myths. And I don’t tend to like direct narrations of myths. However I found myself enjoying this immensely. Gaiman managed to totally capture my attention with the writing in this book.
I loved the way the gods had been presented in the book. My favorite character was Loki. While his actions were often really horrible, I couldn’t help being captured by his wit and cleverness.
Overall, I thought it was a great book, and I am looking forward to reading more of Gaiman’s work. Rating: 5/5.