Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Teen Tuesday: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. Unabridged audiobook on 6 compact discs; 6.5 hours. Read by the author. HarperAudio, 2017. 9780062663634. (Review from finished audiobook borrowed from the public library. Hardcover copy purchased.)

Teen readers who enjoyed Rick Riordan's Magnus Chase books might consider reading Gaiman's retellings to learn a bit more about those rascally Norse gods. Gaiman does a marvelous job of explaining the relationships between them and most of the stories are entertaining if not downright funny. Most students are readily familiar with the gods of Greek mythology; but other cultural mythologies are well worth reading. Personally, I've been trying to expand my own horizons. 

I read the book with my ears but the hardcover book is a thing of beauty, sporting a gorgeous embossed cover. The physical book also has a glossary I might have found useful for consulting were I reading with my eyes. Gaiman is a wonderful narrator though. Most of the stories are short but they are all interconnected and don't lend themselves to skipping around if you're reading with your eyes. 

The Norse gods were as harsh and brutal as the climate in the Nordic countries. There's plenty of deception, betrayal and gore as they hurtle their way, seemingly uncaring, to Ragnorok. Good stuff. Hand this to your readers who love mythology. Challenge your students to read beyond Greek mythology. Offer it to students who enjoy Gaiman's other work and his quirky sense of humor.

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