Saturday, April 1, 2017

Review: Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology
Neil Gaiman
Series: N/A
Genre: Mythology, Short Stories
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The concept of mythology plays a strong role in our cultural narrative; whether Norse, Roman, Egyptian, or one of the myriad of other mythologies, people have been captivated by these stories for centuries. In his book, Neil Gaiman cherry-picks a few Nordic tales and weaves them together. It's pretty straightforward -- you get what the title implies -- but if you're even a little interested in the subject I highly recommend you pick it up.

The writing itself was very unembellished, in a way that felt like there was a narrator speaking to me directly, rather than an author gathering tales. You know in movies when the characters will visit an old person and the old person will start a story and it'll fade into the scene and you'll forget they're talking (like the beginning of Titanic)? It felt kinda like that. Like bedtime stories almost. Lulling, relaxing. (If I'm not making sense, I'm trying to say I liked the writing style and felt like it worked well with the tone of the book)

The stories were honestly so great too. Gaiman did a great job choosing stories. I'm sure there were sooooooo many to choose from and tons more great Norse myths that would have been fun to read but I wasn't bored reading a single one of these stories and I really loved how the characters made recurring appearances and how some of the asides made by the narrator kinda popped up as central focuses in other stories. It provided a kindof linking thread between the stories, making them not really part of a narrative but more than just a bunch of random myths thrown together from the same geographic area. Also, I loved the way the narrator kept leading up to Ragnarok and the way Gaiman wrote about it. All in all, the whole thing was really well done.

I'm beating a dead horse at this point by saying Neil Gaiman is my favorite author but I always have to mention it just in case someone doesn't know so here's my obligatory mention, and by reading this it was easy to remember why: it's easy to throw a bunch of stories that already exist together into an anthology but it's a lot more difficult to rework them into something cohesive and fluid while adding your own voice, which is what Gaiman did. (Let's not note that he did all that and I wasn't even capable of reading it for a month and a half after it came out because I'm trash RIP)

Where will you be on Ragnarok?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. I am ashamed to admit that I still haven't read Neil Gaiman, even though I've heard amazing things about him. This sounds like a fun read---I love mythology of all kinds, and we don't see a lot of Norse mythology.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. I love this book's cover! I'm interested in this book but who knows if I'll ever push myself to read it. I think Norse mythology is so cool and so underrated (well, in comparison to Greek and Roman and Egyptian mythology). I've not read anything by Gaiman (*ducks and hides*) but I'll make this my first. I'm glad you enjoyed this book, Sam!

    Have a wonderful weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  3. I really need to read more Neil Gaiman. I have only read one of his books and I did enjoy it so I have no idea why I haven't taken the time to read more. This has been a book that I have been really curious about and may try to get to at some point. Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. No need to justify the obligatory mention of Gaiman being your favourite, always good to remind folk how good an author he is. I hadn't actually heard of this book until after its release and it sounds right up my street. I love mythology and so I really want to read this... hopefully sometime soon and your review just makes me want to read it more so great job.