Not quite sure what to make of this. Basically with Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman “reaches back through time to the original source stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales” – as the press release informs us. So is it something like an album of covers? And why is it so short (304 pages)?
Anyone familiar with the great Norse myths would have come across these stories before – tall tales of Odin, Thor, Loki, Balder et al – of gods, elves, giants, dwarves and of course, monsters. They are all great stories of course, and form the basis of much of modern fantasy storytelling. But does Gaiman add anything to these tales that justify this project?
Perhaps. What Gaiman does well is get to the essence of the myths without any scholarly intent – stories of mighty feats, divine folly and demonic deceit, that has served to pass along important messages from generations to generations. Gaiman makes it come across like a fresh re-telling, without losing the fundamentals.
With the TV adaptation of Gaiman’s own myth-making American Gods coming out soon, the timing is on point for fans to get acquainted with the original classics before indulging in Gaiman’s own modern update of familiar myths. A book geeks will probably want to read over and over again.
… still there’s more …