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Norse mythology
2017
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Norse mythology
Mythology
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  Library Journal Review

In his fiction, Gaiman (American Gods; Sandman) frequently explores the themes and tropes of mythology from around the world. Here, he operates within narrower confines, retelling the classic stories of Norse mythology but with no less humor, sense of adventure, and imagination than when he's playing in worlds of his own making. Here the adventures and misadventures of the Norse gods and goddesses function as short stories that, together, build an arc that leads the reader onward to Ragnarök, the twilight of the gods. Giants, ogres, dwarves, fantastical beasts, and the occasional human freely mingle with Thor, Odin, Loki, Freya, and other, less well-known gods and goddesses, all of whom are passionate, flawed, weird, and divinely entertaining. VERDICT A spectacularly entertaining and elucidating collection of stories with wide crossover appeal. Essential for all collections.-Stephanie Klose, Library Journal © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Gaiman is a talented storyteller, as both writer and a narrator. In his latest audiobook, he turns both talents to an imaginative retelling of old Norse folklore. The figures in these myths are well-known to most people: Odin, the highest and oldest of the gods; his son Thor the Thunderer; and Loki, his conniving and treacherous blood brother. They, along with the other gods who inhabit Asgard, live in a universe of giants, elves, dwarves, and men. Gaiman chronicles the history of these gods and their varied adventures from the beginning of their creation to their ending at the final battle of Ragnarok, and on to their eventual renewal. Gaiman's affection for these myths is evident throughout the audiobook. His gods bellow and rage and whine and battle and plot, but his reading is never over the top. His mellow British-accented voice keeps the pace consistent, hits all the right dramatic notes, and brings new life, for a new generation to discover, to these ancient stories. A Norton hardcover. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
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.
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