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Norse Mythology

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,7871991,605 (4.02)224
Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he presents his fashioning of the primeval Norse myths into a novel, which 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 recreating the characters--the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendencey to let passion ignite their actions--and making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.--… (more)
  1. 81
    The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: The Edda feels like the primary source material for Gaiman's retelling
  2. 31
    Mabinogion Tetralogy by Evangeline Walton (LamontCranston)
  3. 10
    Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman (sturlington)
  4. 00
    Expecting Someone Taller by Tom Holt (themulhern)
    themulhern: The one is a fine retelling of Norse mythology, the other is humorous fantasy based on Norse mythology. So they compliment each other nicely. And both are written rather cleverly.
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» See also 224 mentions

English (193)  German (1)  Polish (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (198)
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
It's a a quick read: Short stories about the Norse Gods. Very enjoyable. ( )
  wills2003 | Jul 30, 2020 |
The tales are so entertaining: Loki's sassy mouth gets him in trouble as often as it gets him out of trouble. And it clarified my uncertainty about who was the bigger god: Odin or Thor. Thor actually is shown to be a little slow on the uptake at times. Odin isn't the only wise person in this collection, however, and it was great to be introduced to more of the old Norse pantheon. For the most part, women don't have an active role, and even the Norns are only briefly mentioned, which is not to say there aren't any important women. Hel, ruler of the dead, is a woman. Loki's shapeshifting includes becoming a woman at times. We get hints of an upcoming apocalypse, and the last chapter describes it: Ragnarok, the final destiny of the gods. Or was that truly the end? We are also told at one point that the gods can come back to life.
The first 2 chapters describe the various worlds, who the gods/giants/dwarves/elves are and sometimes how they were created. It was kind of dull, and I was afraid the whole book would be like that, but Gaiman jumped right into the action in chapter 3.
  juniperSun | Jul 25, 2020 |
3 stars - I'm generally a fan of Neil Gaiman, and i had high hopes for this book. The actual content is interesting, but not compelling, and the storytelling is very mediocre. It may be that this is due to the material. The book ends up being a compilation of short stories with some of the main characters showing up in many of the stories. However, there isn't any flow, and the characters themselves are simply not well developed. I expected more from a storyteller of Gaiman's ability. On the good side, the book did fill in many of the gaps in my knowledge. Norse Mythology is becoming much more prevalent in recent years with both Thor, Loki. Odin, and Heimdall showing up in Marvel films, and others of the gods being a part of both The Iron Druid Chronicles and The Dresden Files and of course, Gaiman's American Gods. ( )
1 vote JohnKaess | Jul 23, 2020 |
I have no comparison to make with any other re-telling or the source material, so, taking this at face-value:

This is an entertaining set of tales about the creation of the world and its eventual destruction and some things that happen in between. The best of the tales are the comedic ones where Loki is both the author of and the solution for some troublesome eventuality. It was good to finally read some of these Norse myths and it makes me keener to read the source material, the prose and poetic Eddas. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
A good re-telling of the Norse mythologies in only the way that Neil Gaiman can do. At times witty, wry, funny, dark, dismal, encouraging, discouraging, irrelevant, relevant, naughty, nice, etc, etc, etc, but at all times entertaining.

The ending chapters on Loki and Ragnarok are possibly the best retelling of the tales of Loki's capture and imprisonment and the end of days I've read before. Gaiman does a wonderful job of tying all things together, especially with his closing paragraphs.

The way Gaiman writes mythology shows his love for old stories, through his books like the Anasi God, American Gods, Sandman, and this, you can see how he loves the old mythologies for what they are, and what they represent to humanity. Our yearning from our earliest days to understand our world and ultimately ourselves. Maybe, just maybe, one day we will. ( )
  BenKline | Jul 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buckley, PaulCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garceau, PeteCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ngai, VictoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weber, SamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Welch, ChrisDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Everett, Old Stories for a new boy
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It's as hard to have a favorite sequence of myths as it is to have a favorite style of cooking (some nights you might want Thai food, some nights sushi, other nights you crave the plain home cooking you grew up on).
Many gods and goddesses are named in Norse mythology.
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