Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman: Review

This whole world of Norse stories, gods, giants, monsters and characters has been opened wide to me very recently and basically I. Love. It.

Some information about this book:

  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release date: February 7th 2017
  • Page count: 301
  • Series: Standalone

Book Cover

The first thing to notice about this book is that there are two covers. I’m not sure if that’s a US/UK split or Audible/Hardback & Paperback split but I like both of them equally. My Audible version had the cover featured on the front of this blog post wherever you clicked it or at the top of this post where I just can’t get the featured image quite the right size to fit in the box.

Norse Mythology is a very good book. That sounds easy considering it’s by Neil Gaiman, author extraordinaire but I didn’t like American Gods, thought Neverwhere was alright and wondered what all the hype was about when I finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane.. There’s something about his voice that is easy to listen to (and that Masterclass advert has almost had my money thrice because I’ve been entranced by Gaiman’s dulcet tones) and this makes listening to tales of old really enjoyable.

This book focuses entirely on the Norse stories which are the ones that include Thor, Loki, Odin, Heimdall etc. I recently read Shackled Fates by Thilde Kold Holdt (review here) and loved it for the fact it has so much Norse mythology packed into it’s pages. Before I had read her two books I wasn’t that interested in Norse mythology past Thor and Loki in the MCU but after reading those and listening to this, along with Norsevember being kicked off this month by my friend Alex (his blog) I feel like I might as well have my own fylgja (hopefully it’s a bear!).

What’s interesting with Norse Mythology is so many of these stories you will not have heard of before. They are told in such an easy-to-follow way that you never feel that a lack of previous knowledge is an issue and by the end you’ll feel like an expert – for example did you know Thor had red hair and not blonde?

My favourite story was that of Ragnarok which for those that don’t know is the battle at the end of time which sees the Gods and the Giants fight (along with other ‘things’) each other. I thought it was told really well and was almost like an enjoyable learning experience.

Rating 4/5 – It’s hard to review a book that is a group of stories because I can’t break down each story for this review so I’ll do it collectively. This is a great book to read or listen to in the car (like me) if you are even mildly interested in the Norse stories. Neil does a brilliant job of voicing his own book as he brings life to the heroes and villains of Norse history.

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