Nightjar

Norse Mythology - by Neil Gaiman

I enjoyed this.

I love mythology, especially Celtic folklore, and although well aware of Norse mythology - mainly through popular culture and the like - I wasn't so knowledgeable about the detail. For instance I wasn't aware of the detail around Ragnarok, Loki's children, the different giants, who Odin really is, his kith and kin and the like.

All this is laid bare by Gaiman's 'Norse Mythology'. To be honest though, I was most taken aback by the simple childlike quality and humour of the Norse myths. It wasn't something I was expecting from a warrior race. I don't believe this is down to Gaiman's interpretation as some have suggested - calling it a children's book - but rather the very quality of the Vikings themselves. There is a childlike humour and Pagan innocence that runs throughout the tales, and I found myself chuckling out loud once or twice.

I imagine most would;

I definitely recommend it as a read to anyone wanting to know more about the Norse myths, or for those new to this pantheon of Gods. Gaiman's writing is excellent as ever, entertaining, and his delivery of the old tales is good fun. If anything, I think in being true to the tales Gaiman's weirdness and originality has been corralled into boundaries he'd not normally be inhibited by. It's an easy read. A safe 3* from me.

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PAUL JAMESON 2016