Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman

Earlier this year, acclaimed storyteller Neil Gaiman published a $26, 281-page-long work of fanfiction: Norse Mythology, his “novelistic” retelling of several famous Norse myths. The book covers the stars of the Norse pantheon (Odin, Thor, Loki, Freya), and includes several of the best-known myths, including Thor's cross-dressing wedding, the death of Balder, and the many, many exploits of Loki the trickster.

Your enjoyment of Norse Mythology will depend, I think, on your ability to enjoy stories about a bunch of characters who never learn. Gaiman does his best to make his creations feel real, but too many of these stories hinge upon the Gods falling (for the millionth time) for one of Loki's schemes. In a way, Gaiman's gift for characterization makes things worse—humanizing his characters just makes it more difficult to sympathize with their boundless gullibility. I was left with a strong reminder of why I've always preferred Greek/Roman myths: at least their Gods had more interesting faults (lust, pride, resentment) than stupidity.
Posted by: Julianka


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