Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

33290550Title: Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

Pub Date: February 7th, 2017

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

View on Goodreads

Buy on Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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 fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly reincarnating Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, the son of giants, a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. From Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerges the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

It’s not you Neil Gaiman, it’s me. Or maybe it’s you? It just wasn’t for me, or the author just didn’t deliver the appropriately engaging story. Norse Mythology is exactly what the title says – collection of Norse myths rewritten by the modern author. It sounded interesting, and I like Thor and Loki in Avengers, so why not to learn the original story of those characters before there were adapted by Hollywood.

I couldn’t get into the stories, I struggled to keep my interest and keep reading. I managed to read the whole book but the last few pages. I just gave up at that point, I couldn’t stand another minute with this book. It had its moments, I learned few things and some of the myths were almost interesting to me. But among the enormous sea of boredom that this book was for me, it was very easy to make things just a little bit interesting for me. Truth to be told, I think that the introduction was the most interesting part of the whole book for me, it was written with a certain wit that I liked, and it is what sold me on reading the whole book. But I was fooled, after the introduction, it all went downhill quickly.

What else can I say – not much can be written about the boredom. This book didn’t even make me angry so I could rant for pages about her. It was just a snooze fest with few bits and pieces of a moderate fun.


10 thoughts on “Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

    • LiteraryFuzz says:

      I know the question wasn’t directed at me, but… I’d recommend Neverwhere as a starting point. It is one of his most popular novels and really gets you into the feel of what a Gaiman novel is. After you’ve finished that, you can go pretty much anywhere – American Gods is pretty great.

      Wonderful review btw, Ola! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ola says:

        I heard about neverwhere and I even bought it, I also have American Gods in my Kindle (there was a good deal on it and I couldn’t resist ;)). I will definitely read something else by this author.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

        I also am jumping in and highly recommending Neverwhere 😉 It is still my favorite to this day and a great example of Gaiman’s story telling abilities.

        Norse Mythology is simply that. I loved it, but can completely understand why one would not if they do not enjoy mythology as much. He doesn’t “fluff” it. It isn’t a reflection of his other work. But agree that the intro is great 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • Ola says:

      I thought this was my second book by this author, but it’s actually not. I confused them with someone else. So I don’t have any recommendation on this author.


    • Samantha says:

      Also jumping in to say that Neverwhere is a good starting point! Alternatively, you could check out Stardust if you want something with a bit more fairytale-like feel, or The Ocean at the End of the Lane if you want something that’s fairly surreal (it has some horror/magical realism elements). It kind of depends on your interests, but I wanted to share these other two titles.

      If anything, I wouldn’t start with American Gods.


    • Ola says:

      Yeah, I’m so disappointed… but a lot of my GR friends rated it high, so there is a chance you’ll like it if you ever read it. It doesn’t seem like universally hated book 😉


  1. Samantha says:

    As much as I like Neil Gaiman, I was a bit wary about picking up this book. Sure, it’d be interesting to read about Norse mythology, but if it’s “just” a retelling? Yeah…


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