I have been putting off writing a review on Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology for a few weeks now. It was the last audiobook I completed since leaving a job that had me driving two plus hours a day. I finished this one at the end of orientation for my new job which has a shorter commute and little time for consuming audiobooks. It’s the end of an era of listening for me. Maybe I’ve been mourning the loss of the ritual.
I can’t say enough about Neil Gaiman in the first place. I have his rules of writing taped to my bathroom mirror. I read them everyday. They’ve propelled me forward. I can’t lie though, I only discovered his work in the last year, making me extremely late to the party. I am a firm believer in the idea that we find writers when we need them the most. Gaiman made me want to finish a novel I started ten years before. He made me want to complete something.
Norse Mythology is a collection of stories about the creation and ending of the gods, giants, and their interrelationships through history. You have to listen to this book rather than read it. Trust me. Neil Gaiman could read the dictionary and it would be interesting. But besides that fact, the stories of Odin, Loki, and Thor, along with lesser characters I never knew about, deserve to be heard in the oral tradition.
Remember back to when you were a child and your parents read you bedtime stories from a book, or your grandfather spun a yarn for you on a summer day in the backyard while you ate ice cream. How good did that feel? It is magical to have someone take you on a journey in that way. You should go on this journey with Gaiman.
I’m not going to really review this book in detail as it is a collection of stories I feel you have to go in cold to really enjoy. It might change the way you think about Norse mythology in general, especially if you only have very basic knowledge of the tales from what you may have gleaned in comic books and movies. They are fantastical stories about the things of dreams. Give Norse Mythology a listen.