Now and then I need literary comfort food and mythology fulfills that need for something familiar. Although I am more familiar with Greek and Roman myths, I do like the Norse ones as well and I know the main ones. Also Neil Gaiman is in charge of this project and this made me look forward to this book even more.
Gaiman takes the more famous stories from Norse mythology and then rewrites them using his accessible style. The end result is a handful of easy to read stories. All the big stories are here: the creation of the different worlds, Loki’s hair prank, Thor’s battles with the giants, Odin’s loss of his eye, Balder’s death and Ragnarok.
One of the main aspects of Norse mythology is that it centres around Loki, the trickster and Gaiman adheres to this, thus all the stories link together nicely. Gaiman also drops the clues which eventually lead to Ragnarok, something which gives depth to the myths in this collection. Not to mention there’s Gaiman’s sly sense of humor running through the book and I did chuckle at his treatment of Thor as not too bright eating machine.
Norse Mythology is excellent for someone who wants a basic knowledge of this rich, brutal and surreal mythology. Maybe an expert would find the stories here too familiar but even then Gaiman’s writing style transforms these myths into a fun read.