Waiting on Wednesday (44): Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

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“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming books whose releases are being eagerly awaited. Bloggers are encouraged to join in and post about the book they’re looking forward to reading.

norse-mythology

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W. W. Norton & Company | February 7, 2017

Introducing an instant classic—master storyteller Neil Gaiman presents a dazzling version of the great Norse myths.

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales.

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, son of a giant, blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Once, when Thor’s hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman, difficult with his beard and huge appetite, to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir, the most sagacious of gods, is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.

Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerge these gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

Okay, I’ll admit that I’m well behind on my Neil Gaiman readings, since I have a TON of books on my shelf that I still haven’t read! That being said, I’ve read 18 of his books so far and this looks interesting! I love retellings and from the reviews, this one looks good. I saw on Twitter that Neil is narrating this one, so I might have to get the audiobook version of it!

What are you waiting for? 

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My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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