Monday, 27 March 2017

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

"It is a long story, and it does no credit to anyone: there is murder in it, and trickery, lies and foolishness, seduction and pursuit. Listen."

Okay so last week I waxed lyrical about Neil Gaiman and it seems I've gone on a Gaiman binge. Now this would all be fine, had I more of his work to savour,however, I have to wait for him to release some more. Fortunately, his instagram feed tells me he is currently in a productive mood while in a train across America. Nothing like social media to keep tabs on people (and your favourite authors) - am I right?

When I read that there was a new novel coming out based on Norse mythology  I was really excited because the source material is rich, gory and fantastic.This is part fairy story, part nightmare as the trickster Loki reeks havoc and the adventures of familiar characters such as Thor and Odin spill forth with a tone that is both familiar and strange. The reader is transfixed with childlike wonder and yet the deeds and misdeeds are far more adult.Being restrained by the entrails of one's son is definitely the stuff of nightmares; giants are intimidating and Thor really can drink - does that mean he gets hammered?

Myths and legends allow us to contemplate our best and worst behaviours in an atmosphere of the superlative and the fantastical. They fire our imaginations and leave us spellbound. This is why they last throughout the centuries, the strange mix of inherent truths and entertainment. Gaiman's interpretation is fabulous and he is form in this regard (hello Anasi Boys  and American Gods for example). Speaking of which, perhaps my desires for more of his work can be sated by delving into the new American Gods  series - we shall see.

5 out of 5 times giants get a gruff deal.


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