Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology

by Neil Gaiman


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“Remarkable.… Gaiman has provided an enchanting contemporary interpretation of the Viking ethos.”—Lisa L. Hannett, Atlantic

Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393356182
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/06/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 10,005
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the author of the New York Times best-selling A View from the Cheap Seats, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The Graveyard Book, Coraline, Neverwhere, and the Sandman series of graphic novels, among other works. His fiction has received Newbery, Carnegie, Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner Awards. His novel American Godsaired as a TV seriesin 2017. Originally from England, he lives in the United States, where he is a professor at Bard College.


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Date of Birth:

November 10, 1960

Place of Birth:

Portchester, England


Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77

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Norse Mythology 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In a style true to the source materials, Neil selects a handful of norse tales and orders them in a way that they build on each other nicely. Also, his rendition of Ragnarok is masterful, painting a striking scene of the end of the world. I loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a long time fan of Neil Gaiman, but not all of his books and stories resonate with me. This did. I first listened to the audio book (so I'd know how to pronounce a lot of the words, and because Neil Gaiman's voice is lovely). It felt like I was a child being read bedtime stories again; it was so nice. Now I'm reading the stories to my family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy mythology and this is the first book I’ve read on the Norse gods. I had to guess at the pronunciation of most of the names but I enjoyed reading the stories. It’s interesting to note the similarities between all the different mythology when you get to the basic premise of creation, ice age, flood, man’s rebirth and the prophetic end times. They are all there in some manner by some name or explanation. This book was well written and easy to stay interesting even if you have to put it down and come back to it multiple times as I did. I would recommend it to anyone with a general interest in mythology for the fun of reading. If I were rating it for my 10 grandchildren I would call it PG-13.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the retellings of these Norse myths, entertaining and enlightening
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In Norse Mythology, we are finally treated to Neil Gaiman's interpretation and storytelling of the ancient Norse myths. These are Gaiman's honing of old texts into a narrative story line in which he displays great power, humor, and suspense. I listened to these during my commute as read by the author and highly recommend purchasing the audio version of the book for maximum effect. These stories are meant to be heard.
Andrew_of_Dunedin More than 1 year ago
I tried to read the tales of the Norse Gods as told to us by Edith Hamilton. I could not get into the stories. Perhaps it was because I felt like Ms. Hamilton was talking AT me instead of TO me; perhaps it was because they were confined to the end of “Mythology”, after we had already read about the major Greek and Roman gods, and the minor Greek and Roman gods, and the really minor Greek and Roman gods, and the second cousins and casual acquaintences of the really minor Greek and Roman gods … Noted fantasy writer Neil Gaiman has decided to take his turn at telling us the tales of the Norse Gods. While he may also be talking at us, he has adopted the persona (in spirit and tone, at least) of a trusted elder telling us tales that were told to him many years ago, rather than as a college professor earning their paycheck by providing lectures to the undergraduates. Like me and so many of us, Mr. Gaiman was first exposed to the gods of the Scandinavian people courtesy of their modern-day adaptations by Stan Lee, Larry Leiber, and Jack Kirby of Marvel Comics. (Those who automatically picture Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston in their minds when “Asgard” is mentioned indirectly share this experience.) As such, Mr. Gaiman can identify with us and relate the original stories in ways that the modern audience can understand and appreciate. Special mention must be given to his final chapter on Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods. Mr. Gaiman cleverly alludes to many ways that modern man has been warned that he may destroy the earth in describing how the final war between the beings of Norse mythology may witness their world’s end. Could it be nuclear war / nuclear winter? Perhaps global warming? While these modern concepts are never mentioned, it does not take much of an imagination to draw a parallel between the book’s descriptions and those that have been described in the Science section of the newspapers. As always, Mr. Gaiman has excelled. His newest effort is definitely worth a look. RATING: 5 stars P.S. I loved the short exchange in which Sif questions why Thor automatically assumed that Loki was responsible for the loss of her hair. Thor replies “… when something goes wrong, the first thing I think of is, it is Loki’s fault. It saves a lot of time.” DISCLOSURE: I was awarded a free copy of this book in a random draw. No requirement of a review was made, let alone any conditions on the tone / content of a review, however, it was suggested that “an honest review would be appropriate”.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read plenty of Greek and Roman mythology, but never any Norse mythology. It's an easy entertaining read (aside from being unable to pronounce most of their names lol.) Definitely worth the read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not much on reviewing but this was fantastic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Neil Gaiman's version of the Norse myths is a very enjoyable read. Another great book from a great author
insanepoet65 More than 1 year ago
I remember reading mythology in High School English. I loved it then, I love it now. I loved the tales of the Gods of Asgard. I wanted Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. (Oh, the things I would have done with that!) Neil Gaiman brought to life an old friend. He reminded me of the tales I fell in love with, the heroes, the villains, the fights, Ragnarok. What I really appreciated was his telling of Asgard and warning the reader that this is not the Thor of Marvel Comics and Movies. This is Thor, Odin, Loki, of the Viking Longhouses. There are not any golden spires, however there is a rainbow bridge. If you are not familiar with Norse Mythology, and want a good starting point, this book is for you. If you are familiar with Norse Mythology and want to visit an old friend, this book is for you. The tales ae short, the stories are easy to read, and the book can be finished in a day or two.
JMTJTC 5 months ago
"He said nothing: seldom do those who are silent make mistakes." Genre: Short Stories / Mythology Number of Pages: 299 Perspective: Third Person Gaiman has gathered many Norse Mythology stories and legends and compiled them into a cohesive set of short stories with a narrative flair. TL;DR: Great choice for an audiobook. Full Review:
Anonymous 10 months ago
WitchyWriter 11 months ago
Norse Mythology is a delightful collection of re-tellings, in Gaiman’s unique and unparalleled voice. He lays things out clearly, so that you don’t see all the ambiguity of ancient myths passed down in a hundred different versions via oral traditions. You see the bones of the stories, and you get to understand the Norse mythos more completely. After reading these, I actually understand a friend of mine who is a Pagan devotee of Thor much more! I enjoyed all these stories in their varied subject matters. My favorite was the final chapter, which talks about Ragnarok, an end and a beginning. The stories are told in an inspirational way that made me want to go write. Anyone who enjoys mythology should read these. Any writer looking for a little mythic inspiration should definitely read these. Thanks for doing it again, Neil Gaiman. The world would be a darker place without your prose.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I actually read this while on a trip in Norway. Was a very fun read and learned a lot more about this mythology than I thought I knew. It is interesting regarding the similarities this mythology has to others, but I found the gods and giants in this mythology to be more likable. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Gaiman's works.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven’t felt this drawn to a book in my life
Go4Jugular More than 1 year ago
I know (knew) nothing about Norse mythology, but the Notes accompanying this latest effort from Neil Gaiman suggest academic rigor, leavened by Gaiman's characteristic wit. The humor can be as subtle as a simple turn of phrase, or broader as needed but, regardless, it permeates every story and gives these myths a modern sensibility, without distancing them from their ancient origins. Of particular fascination is the duality of Loki, who causes some of the greatest problems for the gods, while also giving them some of their greatest triumphs.
Darlene491 More than 1 year ago
My only contact with Norse mythology to date had been the movie Thor. Chris Hemsworth was the big draw, I'm sure you understand. Tom Hiddleston didn't hurt either. The movie did peak my interest in the subject matter so I picked up Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology. Imagine my surprise to discover that the movie only used the parts of the myths that suited their movie. Now I scream at the television screen "that's not how it happened!". It's been a double edged sword. The book is a must have for those interested in the myths that inspired a franchise. I still can't pronounce 80% of the words used in the book but I just make up my own pronouncement & continue on. It's been worth my time to find the myth behind the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book and finished it during lulls at work in less than a full day. The pages might very well have turned themselves, the speed with which Gaiman's language motivated me to move through them was so great. My interest in Norse Mythology has never brought me deeper than it's surface; so intimidating was the task of dissecting and digesting the oldest of its works for intelligible and interesting stories. This book solves that problem, and does so beautifully. While I plan to reread this book at least a few times more, I did not have much trouble following its characters and terms. The short-story style of its writing kept me engaged and hungry throughout its entirety. By the time I'd finished, I couldn't believe how much information I'd covered in what seemed like mere hours. If you have an interest it Norse Mythology, and(or) an afternoon free, this book is what you're looking for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
There are some books that just take you by surprise, and for me, Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology was one of them! I’ve always been interested in the different kinds of mythology, especially Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Norse. My interest and love for Norse grew with the Thor movies (which I now know aren’t fully accurate?) and after watching Thor: Ragnarok (three times in theatres) it’s become something of a new obsession. Still, I don’t read much of either non-fiction or short story collections, but it was Neil Gaiman AND Norse Mythology and so, when Bloomsbury India offered me the chance to read their newly published (gorgeous and shiny) paperback edition, I jumped. MY THOUGHTS: 1. If there was one thing I didn’t expect this book to be, it was funny. There was so much humour involved in the retellings of these myths and it really made me fall in love! “There were things Thor did when something was wrong. The first thing he did was ask himself if what happened was Loki’s fault.” ~ “Your head,” said Brokk. “If we win this contest, we get your head, Loki. There’s a lot of things going on in that head of yours, and I have no doubt that Eitri could make a wonderful device out of it. A thinking machine, perhaps” 2. The book was enlightening. I LOVED learning more about Thor, Loki, Odin, Ragnarok, how the world came to be, their children, their cunning and bloodlust and EVERYTHING else. It was an in-depth collection of some of the most fascinating tales in Norse Mythology that Neil Gaiman brought to life. 3. There were SO MANY interesting tales in the books, and facts I didn’t learn in the movies including: - Where Thor got Mjollnir from, Fenris (the huge wolf we see in Thor: Ragnarok) and where he came from, Loki’s shapeshifting, the real foretold Ragnarok, how the Nine Realms came to be and I LOVED IT SO MUCH. 4. There was also a short story where Thor had to dress up as a bride and IT WAS THE FUNNIEST THING I’VE EVER READ. It totally made my day. 5. Let me just end by saying that (because who doesn’t judge books by their covers. Or endpapers, if you’re hardcore) this new paperback edition is STUNNING. I love the shine, the art AND the endpapers and I can’t wait for more from Neil Gaiman. A true Norse Masterpiece that is enlightening, just the right amounts of funny and an overall heartfelt collection of stories that will make you smile. 4.5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the new take on mythology
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book inspired me to read and enjoy more Norse mythology. Thank you