- Publication Date: February 7, 2017
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
- Genre: Norse, Mythology, Folklore
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.
A TACO REVIEW
Hello my tasty taquitos! This week I bring to you the marvellous collection that is Norse Mythology by the genius known as Neil Gaiman. I have such a huge literary boner for Mr. Gaiman that I visited three different stores the day it was released. I didn’t find it at any of them so I had to order it on Amazon. I love my Prime membership. And then I went to B&N a week later and they had it. *insert unimpressed face here*
This book is like having your favorite food after craving it for a long time. It can go one of two ways. You take your time with it, savor every single bite, make sure that you taste every ingredient to be positive it’s still your favorite. Or you scarf it down in one sitting and have no regrets. I chose the former. I needed to savor all 300+ pages of a mythos I am somewhat familiar with.
Like most of us, I know the basic Norse deities: Odin, Thor, and Loki. Reading The Iron Druid Chronicles has also familiarize me with Hel, Frigg, Freyja and her brother Freyir, just to name a few. Mr. Gaiman has taken these age old myths and twirled them in his literary magic and made them his own. And I love him for it.
Gosh, this almost feels like a love letter to Mr. Gaiman. #NoShame
The first myth literally starts with Thor feeling something was off and immediately blaming Loki for it. If anything ever goes wrong, it’s Loki’s fault. At first I thought Thor was exaggerating but the more I read, the more I saw he wasn’t. Loki is a shit-starter and the MCU downplayed it. Big time. They also downplayed how much a douche-nozzle Thor is. He is the epitome of a rich dude-bro that no one can touch because he’s going to save the world when Ragnarok comes.
My favorite of these myths is the one where Thor and Loki dress up as maidens to protect Freyja from marrying a giant. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds. I don’t think you fully understand the absurdity of the whole plan Loki (of course it was Loki) conjured. Thor literally eats the giants out of dinner and Loki at his side like elbow jabbing him because ladies aren’t supposed to eat like pigs. Just thinking back on it makes me laugh. Everyone knows ladies are just as capable of finishing off three giant boars as any man.
I give this book five Tacos on the Taco Scale of Awesome. I’m not just saying it because I’m in love with Mr. Gaiman’s writing, I genuinely enjoyed this set of mythology from start to finish. It gave me a deeper look into some of the Norse deities that I had heard of in passing.
Also, as a lover of well crafted beer I can’t help but to have a soft spot for any pantheon that is known for their beer. If you’ve never heard of Ragnarok, not counting the new Thor movie (whose trailer gave me tingles), here is your chance to get scared. I survived Y2K and the Mayan end of the world prophecies and after reading this I hope Ragnarok happens when I’m dead. Is it that scary, Taco? A little but Thor and Odin are such a douches that I don’t want to worship them anymore than I do Chris Hemsworth’s biceps. Fair warning, some of these are pretty f-ed up.
Weird type of f-ed up, that made me look up from the pages to make sure no one could read my mind and judge me for the weird myths I’m reading.
I recommend this book. Go read it.
Until next time. This is Mon, over and out.