Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman


Rate: 3/5


Medium: Audiobook


Overview (No Spoilers): Any mythology based novel will always perk my attention as a result of the fondness nostalgia draws forth from my fascination regarding this genre as a youth.  As kids, my friends and I were voracious readers, fliting from genre to genre with the seasons.  During one particularly prolonged obsession, we devoured everything we could get our hands on regarding Greek mythology. We briefly dallied in Norse mythology, but my memories of those reads has faded with time. In Gaiman’s American Gods, which was easily one of my favorite reads of the past year, mythology is reimagined from a modern perspective.  Based on my feelings regarding American Gods, I was excited to pick up Norse Mythology thinking initially that it would build upon Gaiman’s previous literary world, however instead Gaiman retells the famous stories of lore. Interestingly, other recent reads of mine have also focus on Norse mythology. MacLeod’s The Wolf’s Lover and The Trickster’s Lover add a their own modern twist to the classic tales.  With these stories as a refreshing backdrop, I enjoyed Gaiman’s retellings of the Norse mythology lore, which were wholly separate from his previous novel. Some of the stories were familiar from MacLeod, while others were completely foreign. By the end of this read, I was left wondering at what stories didn’t make the cut and why he didn’t make the book longer by filling in more of Loki and Thor’s adventures. Moreover, I felt as though there were certain unresolved loose ends that would likely have continued to be flushed out in other tales that were absent. Overall, Norse Mythology was an entertaining retelling of stories, both old and new that captures the imagination, leaving the reader hoping Gaiman will revisit this topic in the future.


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17 comments

      • Sandman was his masterpiece, his peak, and elevated graphic novels into serious territory. His Smoke & Mirrors collection was fantastic. American Gods was good, but came off a bit bloated and it was obviously the work of a foreigner writing about America. Interesting in that fact but it came off uncanny in my opinion. After that everything was kindof a retread of the same magical fantasy themes or based on other peoples works. Stardust was him trying to be Dunsany, Coraline was great but a children’s book, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane was Coraline re-written from an adult perspective. I swore off of Gaiman with that one because I ordered it, paid over 20 for the hardcover on Amazon, and when it arrived it was a fucking short story sold for the price of a full novel.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I have to agree. I don’t think I referenced Norse Mythology as a novel but the other books I talk about in this review. I’ll have to reread my post to make sure I didn’t. Thanks for bringing this up!

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  1. I have this sat on my side just waiting to be read … the only thing that’s stopping me is how little I enjoyed American Gods. I just him a very boring writer.

    A shame, as I am in the midst of reading an awesome Norse fiction trilogy. So do love that kind of thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello! I’m so surprised you didn’t enjoy American Gods! We usually have such similar tastes! Gaiman is hit or miss for me but I loves his modern take on mythology. That’s why literature is wonderful! We can all have different opinions on the same book!

      Liked by 1 person

      • In all fairness I loved his modern take on the myths etc … I loved the Gods in the funeral home and thought Wednesday a great character. As was the Leprechaun. I just felt the ending was leading up to being something earth-shattering … and it just felt like a whimper instead of a huge bang.

        Liked by 1 person

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