Book Review: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

As a child, I loved reading stories from Greek and Norse mythologies. I found those more fascinating and entertaining than the fairy tales , even the gory, original versions  of the popular children's tales. Between the two, I favored more the Norse myths over the Greek finding the Norse gods and goddesses more intriguing, edgy and the pantheon in which they existed more interesting. 

It was much easier though to find material on Greek mythology than the Norse ones. So when I came across a book titled Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, who is one of my favorite authors, I had to get it. As usual, Neil Gaiman does not disappoint. 

I was expecting something different, his own take on the pantheon of the Norse gods and goddesses. Surprisingly, he remains quite faithful to the source material without changing much of the stories. The stories will be very familiar to ones you may have read in your childhood, based on translated texts and scholarly interpretations. In a sense, Neil Gaiman is paying tribute to these ancient works and keeping the mythology alive. What he does though is subtly introduce little details and aspects in the telling of the story that makes it a very enjoyable read considering you are reading stories you are likely familiar with or read about in the past. As you read through his book, the feeling is like having an old uncle telling you a common story in his own peculiar way, injecting little bit of wit and special touches to make it more interesting and fun to read. It kept me wanting for more. Hopefully, he has plans for a volume 2.

In short, if the Norse myths needed to be retold in a way that remains true to the source material yet giving it a special, entertaining and enjoyable reading experience, then Neil Gaiman was the perfect writer to do it. - Moira G. Gallaga ©