Norse Mythology
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Norse Mythology Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

4.7 out of 5 stars 13,748 ratings

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Product details

Listening Length 6 hours and 29 minutes
Author Neil Gaiman
Narrator Neil Gaiman
Whispersync for Voice Ready Release Date February 07, 2017
Publisher HarperAudio
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
Best Sellers Rank #61 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#1 in Fairy Tale Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#1 in Mythology (Books)
#1 in Classic Literature (Audible Books & Originals)

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
13,748 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on March 22, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on July 22, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story Telling and Fabulous For Reading Out Loud!
By Happy Reader on July 22, 2017
This is genuine storytelling in the oral tradition. It is deliberately written as if you were listening to a grandmother telling the tale around the fire. Picture her waving her arms and leaning forward to emphasize a point, her voice going gutteral and silken interchangeably as she voices a giant or the Trickster Loki.

A prime example is the story of how poetry was born. "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.
It began not long after the dawn of time, in a war between the gods: the Aesir fought the Vanir. The Aesir were warlike gods of battle and conquest; the Vanir were softer, brother and sister gods and goddesses who made the soils fertile and the plants grow, but none the less powerful for that."
It is a great story, with a perfect comedic last line.

I had this idea that Norse mythology was dire and bleak. A mythology that ends with Ragnorök, the death of the gods and the end of the world doesn't sound entertaining. I couldn't be more wrong. For one thing, Ragnorök is the end of one cycle of the world. Like Wagner's Ring, the world will start over again, just as it once did to usher in the time of the gods.

I have read other books by Neil Gaiman, and so far, this is my favorite. I thought the writing exceptionally evocative. Obviously, Gaiman had some amazing original material to work with, but this was great fun to read. It brings fabulous images to mind, such as this from "Hymir and Thor's Fishing Expedition": "The grandmother with nine hundred heads killed each ox, skinned it, and tossed it into her enormous cooking pot. The pot boiled and bubbled over a fire which hissed and spat, and she stirred it with a spoon as big as an oak tree. She sang quietly to herself as she cooked, in a voice like a thousand old women all singing at the tops of their voices at once."

I usually buy paperbacks, but I got "Norse Mythology" in hardback, because the cover of the hardback is beautiful. The details of Thor's hammer, Mjölnir, are raised and the hammer glimmers. The story of why Thor's hammer is short-handled is included in this collection. Most of the depictions of the hammer in Viking jewelry and carvings show the handle even shorter than on the book cover.

5 stars and a book to re-read with great pleasure!

Happy Reader
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Reviewed in the United States on April 27, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2018
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not good quality
By Rachael on December 27, 2018
Havent started to read it yet, but am disappoint with the quality of the pages. The cover it beautiful and great quality but the pages look like a 5 year old took scissors to them. They are beyond cut uneven.
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Reviewed in the United States on March 10, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

Barry Mulvany
3.0 out of 5 stars I always loved reading about these myths when I was a kid
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 15, 2018
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 2, 2018
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2.0 out of 5 stars Total lack of creativity
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 13, 2018
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David Brookes
5.0 out of 5 stars THOR't it would be worse
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 27, 2018
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Shelly Bajwa
5.0 out of 5 stars In love with Gaiman's storytelling!
Reviewed in India on April 6, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars In love with Gaiman's storytelling!
Reviewed in India on April 7, 2018
I bought this book last year when it was still hot off the press simply because it contained the words Norse and Mythology in one title. I’m a huge, HUGE mythology fan and Norse Mythology is on of those lesser known gems that have not yet been completely discovered and talked about as much as Greek or Egyptian Myths. To me, the fact that this was one concise guide to another beautiful, obscure culture and it’s roots was more than enough an incentive to buy it.
Norse Mythology is a collection of stories that explain in detail important concepts and foundations of the North Germanic people. Although with the uprising of Christianity, most of the literature and scriptures have been lost but a few passed on works have still survived through the concealment of the Gods as kings and princes so as to appease the Christian rule. Neil Gaiman has taken the stories from the poem called Edda and put through the situations through a little fictional magic of his own.
He goes on to explain the conception of the world according to Norsemen and how the use of pagan symbols and worship slowly formed a full fledged religion. The importance of the world tree Yggdrasil is understood as it marks the centre of the Norse Universe, stemming 9 realms from it. The Gods are born of a giant called Ymir and it’s his sons, Odin, Vili and Vè who later on slay him to create the remainder of all in existence, including Asgard and Midgard. The beginning also marks the existence of the end, Ragnarok. The Norse Universe exist on this very phenomenon that one day, the fire demon Surtr will bring the Norse Universe to an end with his flaming sword as it will slash through gods and mortals alike to lay it all to ruin.
The myths of Thor, Loki, Balder, Heimdall and other gods are presented through stories and narratives also highlighting all the important incidents such as Odin becoming an All-Father, how Mjollnir became Thor’s weapon, the creation of beasts and Hell and Valhalla, etc.
My main fascination was with the differences between the actual myths and the ones portrayed by pop culture. The following are the major points of differences:
In the Marvel universe, Loki is referred to as the adopted brother of Thor but in reality, he is the blood brother of Odin instead.
Hela is shown as a beautiful creature that rules the darkness and is the firstborn of Odin but infact, Hel is one of the offspings of Loki with the giantess Angrboda and is half corpse and half alive. It is Odin who sends her to rule the land of the underworld where she takes care of all the souls who didn’t die in battle and greatness and go on to Valhalla, the Norse Heaven.
Thor is handsome and built and strong, is good at heart even if impulsive. However, unlike the suave Chris Hemsworth, he is also, to put it politely, dimwitted.
Fenris the wolf is not a pet adopted by Hela/Hel but is one of the 3 monster children of Loki and Angrboda.
The fact that you get to meet another set of Gods according to a culture that basically thrived and flourished on battles and plundering, it is not astonishing to see that they are not perfect. The stories often drip of betrayal, jealousy, hatred and cunning which were obviously very essential qualities for a culture such as that. The Gods aren’t picture perfect and show through their own human traits which is what makes it as engaging and realistic as it is.
This was my first ever Neil Gaiman book and Needless to say, I am spellbound. The manner in which the stories are narrated actually feels like an age old storyteller, sitting in the woods in front of a bonfire to speak of the Gods and their long forgotten tales of valour, humour and cunning.
Often when a culture and it’s myths are retold, there remains the risk of either overdoing the creativity or understating the actual facts. This book was the perfect example of what literary and creative restraint look like. Gaiman made sure you got all the facts, a laugh and then some but without disturbing the credibility of the actual mythology. He has tried every possible way to maintain the sanctity of the culture without making it too factual and boring.
If you aren’t a non fiction lover and would not want all the extra information but would like to skip over to the stories, you can simply skip over the first 20 or so pages but don’t. YOU NEED ALL THE INFORMATION FOR IT ALL TO MAKE SENSE!!!
A 5 star read that actually made me smile and laugh after so long. Definitely a read worthy of all the hype.
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