Title: Norse Mythology
Author: Neil Gaiman
Rating: 5 of 5!
I like to read mythology, and Norse mythology is my favorite. However, I usually prefer to read from old sources rather than retellings (The Poetic Edda is one of my top 10 books). I was especially leery of this book since the last Norse retelling I read (Loki by Mike Vasich) was pretty disappointing. I needn’t have worried; Gaiman was brilliant! He didn’t try to do anything clever and edgy or push some kind of agenda. He just told the stories of the Eddas in his own words, arranging and tweaking them only enough to add some consistency/coherence.
His style was similar to that of the Prose Edda with fairly basic sentence structure, relatively limited vocabulary, and humor that was by turns dry and 8-year-old-laugh-at-fart-jokes immature. Gaiman’s skill as an author makes the prose less plodding /dull than the actual Edda while still sounding like you are sitting in the longhouse listening to Vikings retell their favorite stories. I absolutely loved it and hope that he does the same thing with the Volsung Saga.