British author and master storyteller, known for his extensive work with DC universe, announced last year that he had been working on a book about Norse mythology for three years. Norse Mythology was published in the beginning this month.
Neil Gaiman is not afraid to declare Norse mythology as his favourite. His first encounter with the Norse gods was Jack Kirby’s early Marvel work The Mighty Thor and it spurred him on to learn more about the Norse mythology. Norse Mythology is not Neil Gaiman’s first introduction to Nordic gods as a writer either. Traces of Norse mythology can be seen in his other works such as his fantasy novel American Gods (2001).
In the introduction of the book, Gaiman mourns the big portion of the mythology that was lost due to the arrival of Christianity. It is the poetry, folk tales, and storytelling that preserved what we have today; he says. Turning to the translations of Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, the unnamed collection of verse as his main sources, he retells his favourite stories from the nine worlds in his own style. You can sense the poetry seeping through the prose, making the stories less of a stiff anthology and more of a story telling session. The language is mild and soothing, creating a nice contrast with the tumultuous doings of the Norse gods.
If you ever wanted to learn more about Norse mythology but got scared by the textbook style of the other books, Norse Mythology is the right book for you with the delightfully poetic style that will surely lure you into the frosty winter nights and never ending summer days; the world of Norse gods.