Sunday, February 12, 2017

Neil Gaiman's "Norse Mythology": Audiobook Review

 Norse Mythology Audiobook
"From the lands of ice, snow, and fire"
Would you listen to Norse Mythology again? Why?
Definitely. I read an advance copy of the book before hearing this, and I enjoy the experience of learning about a body of lore I had remained unfamiliar with for far too long in my life. Neil Gaiman is at ease with the corpus after many years of immersion, from his boyhood on.

What other book might you compare Norse Mythology to and why?
The retellings of myth by such as Robert Graves or Edith Hamilton for the Greeks, or the Celts by Frank Delaney or Marie Heaney. That is, they make the stories into our own diction, and they encourage as Gaiman does to relate them in turn to each other under the stars.

Which scene was your favorite?
The ending. Terrible and unfortunately relevant, in an era of melting icecaps and "sunny day flooding." Ragnarok is horrible, and the apocalyptic climax betters the stories in Revelation.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, but two or three are more likely as it's nearly seven hours. Neil Gaiman takes up a rather mid-Atlantic accent and the narrative pace is steady. It's appropriate for the effect.

Any additional comments?
Recommended for a family, as the stories teach us about trickery and truth, honesty and betrayal. Not sure if the pantheon are role models all, but it's instructive to consider gods and goddesses as if archetypes from one's culture, and less supernatural and apart from people. The name recognition Gaiman holds will surely find new audiences for these ancient quests. (Audible US 2/7/17)

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