Book Review: Norse Mythology

Okay, picture this: Thor, who will always be Chris Hemsworth in my mind, loses his hammer to a giant who has stolen it and who will only give it back if Freya, another god, marries him. Freya won’t marry him, so Loki dreams up a new plan to help Thor get his hammer back, but it involves an XXXXL dress, wig and makeup. Let’s just say, Thor is the ugliest woman you’ve ever seen. But giants are used to ugly women. So Thor convinces the giant he is Freya and will marry him. Then the giant bestows upon Thor his wedding gift: Thor’s hammer. Thor immediately grabs its handle and slews the 100 giants ala The Game of Throne’s Red Wedding. Thor has, after all, killed more giants than anyone else ever.

Norse Mythology was an absolute delight to read. Neil Gaiman weaves story after hilarious story of the gods and their shenanigans. The gods are cruel and they are deceptive and they are self-absorbed. They can become anything. If the situation calls for an eagle, the god is an eagle. Perhaps a god needs to be an irritating fly to distract an enemy. The god becomes the fly. Of all the gods, Loki is my favorite and the worst all at once.

He is Thor’s friend and Thor’s betrayer. He is tolerated by the gods, perhaps because his stratagems and plans save them as often as they get them into trouble. Loki makes the world more interesting but less safe. He’s the father of monsters, the author of woes, the sly god.

I laughed out loud more than once on a crowded subway train reading this book. It’s styled as short stories leading up to Ragnarok, the battle of the gods. Along the way, you learn how the gods got their treasures or their wall or their poet’s tongue. You learn how the gods became extinct.

Though I’ve loved Neil Gaiman since I first read American Gods, and Neverwhere, and Stardust, this book could be a great introduction to the author. His writing is beautiful, crisp, and will surprise you. There is no way you won’t be intrigued to read his others, though they can be a great deal darker.

Interested in reading it? Buy it from Amazon here!

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