Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology is a delightful collection of short stories about the Norse gods. Starting with the story of how the world was created and ending with its destruction, the short stories tell the tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki. This novel showcases the differences of each gods, giants, and other creatures, and how they interact with one another.
To start, it is worth mentioning that mythologies are told because of two reasons: (1) To explain how the world and things came to be; (2) These stories have significance and are actually relevant to the world. Neil Gaiman hit those two points in Norse Mythology. Gaiman showed a version of the creation story with the giants and gods as the prime mover of the world. He also showed the origin stories of some known artefacts such as the famous Mjollnir and the mead of poets that makes its drinker sing songs and tell tales. And of course, since every beginning has an ending, the destructive war, Ragnarok, also had a spotlight in this book. Norse Mythology is a collection of short stories about the norse mythology and it explained how things work and their significance to the stories and this world.
Norse Mythology is a fun and quick read but with depth. It is really informative and educational but in a fun, not boring way. Each story has its own lesson and will make the readers understand and learn more about the norse gods. The norse mythology is not as famous as the greek mythology, and Gaiman gave spotlight to the norse gods, giants, and other creatures in their world and made people notice these interesting characters. He did so without dragging the stories and he was constantly introducing characters, stories, and conflicts without the story being bland and too preachy. This book never felt like a lecture on norse mythology, instead it felt like a bedtime story.
In all of the stories presented, the ones that were funny and most amusing were the ones that involved Loki. His charisma was interesting and his funny and malevolent remarks were fun to read. One of the funniest takeaways I had from this book is how Loki started most of the chaotic situations due to his mischievousness but at the end of the day, he is the one who is going to solve all their problems. It is just quirky and amusing to see this god, who is a trickster, lure every god and creatures into his games but also be the one to fix everything he has ruined.
Another reason why Norse Mythology makes such an interesting and worthwhile read is the writing style. The way Gaiman writes is so poetic but it feels natural. It does not feel forced and the way the sentences move are so fluid and fast that you will not notice that you are at the end of the story already. He writes such beautiful passages that make beautiful images and stories that are fun to read. Although the stories are short and there are times that you crave for more, Gaiman ends every story satisfyingly. It is similar to the feeling of being tucked at night and someone puts a blanket on you, you close your eyes and suddenly everything feels peaceful.
Neil Gaiman has crafted an educational collection of short stories about the Norse gods with such finesse. Every story is written fantastically and presented the story of the gods without fail. A delightful and fast-paced read, Norse Mythology is a collection of short stories that should not be missed by anyone.