‘Norse Mythology’ is a timeless book for all readers of any generation

Leslie Lopez, Staff Writer

Neil Gaiman, the author of notable works such as “Coraline” and “American Gods,” enlightens readers with his knowledge and appreciation of the Norse myths in “Norse Mythology.” In his compelling new fictional book, constructed into a series of short stories, Gaiman captures the essence of the Nordic tales, giving readers a vivid imagery of the Norse realm and its characters.

Although many readers may be familiar with popular characters such as Thor, the god of thunder, Loki the trickster, and Odin, the “all-father,” thanks to the Marvel Comics Universe, “Norse Mythology” delves in deeper into the origins of the Norse tales. Stories of the Norse people (aka the Vikings) have been passed down from generations to generations through word of mouth. In “Norse Mythology,” Gaiman interprets these complex stories in a way that pays homage to the Nordic tales.

As each story unravels, readers are presented with explanations as to why earthquakes happen, where Thor’s hammer originated from, and even a reason as to why bad poetry exists.

One of the book’s most intriguing stories begins with explaining how life came to be through Ymir’s death, a giant and “the ancestor of all the giants”. When Ymir is killed by Odin and his two brothers, Vili and Ve, the giant’s body are dispersed throughout Muspell, land of fire, and Niflheim, land of ice. In the battle, Ymir’s blood and sweat create the seas; his flesh is transformed into the soil; his bones are “piled up into mountains and cliffs.” Gaiman writes, “Look up at the sky: you are looking at the inside of Ymir’s skull… And the clouds you see by day? These were once Ymir’s brains, and who knows what thoughts they are thinking, even now.” Gaiman feeds readers imagination, and are left contemplating and smiling throughout their day.

Dark and witty stories full of possibilities and adventures, Gaiman takes readers on a journey to a realm consisting of nine worlds. With mythical creatures ranging from giants, dwarves, and elves to Fenris the wolf, a force to be reckoned with and Valkyries, “choosers of the slain,” selecting the bravest warriors to be taken to the great hall of Valhalla; “Norse Mythology” feeds imagination to readers. Gaiman writes in a creative and modern way, making “Norse Mythology” a timeless book for all generations to read.

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