Norse Mythology Review
by: Neil Gaiman
I must say that it feels splendid to be out of this sluggish reading funk that I have been in for the past few weeks. I am in the process of picking up my reading pace in order to share my thoughts with each and every one of you. Today I am hear to share my thoughts on Norse Mythology by: Neil Gaiman, which I finished on Sunday. This book is a collection of short story retellings of the classic Norse Myths. I will leave links below to Amazon, Goodreads, and BookDepository links for the book so you are able to check it out when you have time.
Initially when I picked this book up from the library I was skeptical at best for the stories that would lie within. This was proven to be a solid intuition, while I enjoyed the typical Gaiman writing style and banter, I did have some issues with the book. In general the story is quirky and fun, just as each of the original tales is. The characters all have distinct voices and antics that are intriguing and engaging while reading, each having a slight twist on the original. Knowing the style Gaiman typically writes in I was expecting perfect balances of character, whit, and world building; he delivered on all fronts except for the character growth and development. The writing is simple and clear with a touch of British whit and humor as all of his novels tend to include, thus making the read a fast and engaging plod through Asgard and the world of the Gods.
The reason that I give reserved marks for character growth and development is due to the ease that I am able to forget these characters and their plotline when I am not reading them. Whilst reading this collection I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would love to have remembered each tale, I just am finding each to slowly be slipping my mind. For a five star novel it must give me an enticing and engaging plot with well defined and unforgettable characters, which this did not. Each individual myth in this collection can be read separately as a standalone tale, though each flows beautifully into the next to create a complete and endearing overarching plot.
If you are new to the tales of Norse Myths, such as I was prior to this collection; I would highly recommend this as a great starting point. Gaiman's talent with simplistic and engaging prose will envelope you from page one and reluctantly release its grasp when you read the final page. Each character grows to be a quirky and snarky version of themselves throughout to portray the classic stories that many will have seen through the Marvel universe or any other variations. Overall this book is a joy to read, and one that I may reread in the future. However I would be wary to pick it up if you do not like Gaiman or his rich and engaging plots, otherwise this would be a light read for any avid reader.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Pick this up from the library if you are unsure, it is worth the read/shot.
Let me know in the comments if you have any favorite myths or retellings that you think I should read! I am severely poorly versed in this area of literature.