Charming, Enlightening, Hilarious
There are some books that just take you by surprise, and for me, Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology was one of them!
I’ve always been interested in the different kinds of mythology, especially Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Norse. My interest and love for Norse grew with the Thor movies (which I now know aren’t fully accurate?) and after watching Thor: Ragnarok (three times in theatres) it’s become something of a new obsession.
Still, I don’t read much of either non-fiction or short story collections, but it was Neil Gaiman AND Norse Mythology and so, when Bloomsbury India offered me the chance to read their newly published (gorgeous and shiny) paperback edition, I jumped.
1. If there was one thing I didn’t expect this book to be, it was funny. There was so much humour involved in the retellings of these myths and it really made me fall in love!
“There were things Thor did when something was wrong. The first thing he did was ask himself if what happened was Loki’s fault.”
“Your head,” said Brokk. “If we win this contest, we get your head, Loki. There’s a lot of things going on in that head of yours, and I have no doubt that Eitri could make a wonderful device out of it. A thinking machine, perhaps”
2. The book was enlightening. I LOVED learning more about Thor, Loki, Odin, Ragnarok, how the world came to be, their children, their cunning and bloodlust and EVERYTHING else. It was an in-depth collection of some of the most fascinating tales in Norse Mythology that Neil Gaiman brought to life.
3. There were SO MANY interesting tales in the books, and facts I didn’t learn in the movies including:
- Where Thor got Mjollnir from, Fenris (the huge wolf we see in Thor: Ragnarok) and where he came from, Loki’s shapeshifting, the real foretold Ragnarok, how the Nine Realms came to be and I LOVED IT SO MUCH.
4. There was also a short story where Thor had to dress up as a bride and IT WAS THE FUNNIEST THING I’VE EVER READ. It totally made my day.
5. Let me just end by saying that (because who doesn’t judge books by their covers. Or endpapers, if you’re hardcore) this new paperback edition is STUNNING. I love the shine, the art AND the endpapers and I can’t wait for more from Neil Gaiman.
A true Norse Masterpiece that is enlightening, just the right amounts of funny and an overall heartfelt collection of stories that will make you smile. 4.5 stars.