I picked up Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology without really knowing much about the book. I mean, the title really should have clued me in as to what it’s all about, but I try to read anything and everything by Mr Gaiman I can get my hands on, and so, I picked up the book, paid for it, and left it on the shelf til its time came.
So, instead of a story based on Norse Mythology – which is perhaps what I was expecting (ala American Gods in style perhaps), the book literally is a collection of Norse mythologies – old tales of Norse gods like Odin and Thor, Loki and Balder, Freya and etc, rewritten, perhaps, for the current generation whose only knowledge of these characters (at least the first few) are via their Marvel counterparts. No, these are not stories based on the devilishly handsome Hemsworth version of Thor. In fact, based on the old myths, while Thor may be strong, let’s just say he’s not the smartest egg in the basket.
Neil Gaiman has kept the story telling style very much like the old tales too. The sentences are not as magical as he typically writes, and perhaps purposely so. The stories are still fun to read though, and he has based many of them on older writings of these Norse stories. Most of them I have not heard of before, and I wonder how much the movie version of Ragnarok is similar to the myth. Probably not that much, considering The Hulk isn’t part of the old stories!
Whether you’re a Neil fan or not, Norse Mythology is a good book to read if you are interested in learning more about the Norse gods. It’s a friendly and interesting place to start and may even lead you to dig even deeper into the myths.