Genre: Fiction / Short Stories
Neil Gaiman is one of, if not the very best, storytellers of our day. End of story (no pun intended). Yes, I am a little Neil obsessed. But for good cause. Gaiman is uniquely creative, incredibly smart, and super funny. My only regret is that I didn’t get the audible version of this book — because the only thing better than reading Neil Gaiman — is listening to Neil Gaiman read his own stories.
And his Norse Mythology is no disappointment. In his book, Gaiman shares his love of the Norse mythologies in short, individual stories – each one a little nugget. It took me a little while to get into it, but only because of my own ignorance of the Norse Gods and their stories of creation. We learn how Odin sacrificed his eye to gain wisdom. We gain an understanding of the origin of the magical objects — Thor’s hammer; Odin’s spear; and Frey’s collapsible ship. We meet Ask (from the Ash tree) and Embla (from the Elm tree)— the first humans that spring from trees, their roots, literally tied to the natural world.
Once I became familiar with the characters and the setting, this was nothing but non-stop fun. It is like a comedy version of the Game of Thrones, with jealous Gods, giants, dwarves and gossiping squirrels. What’s not to love?
.As always, Gaiman’s dialogue is engaging and fun. And the research he put into re-telling these stories was extensive and thorough (I love any book that has a Glossary to guide you along unfamiliar terrain). Do I have any criticisms? Only that it came to an end too soon. I wanted more tales, more characters, more crazy gossipy squirrels.
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