Myths of the Norsemen (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)
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Myths of the Norsemen (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  505 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Scandinavians of the Viking Age answered the mysteries of life in their myths and legends. Folklorist Helene Adeline Guerber brings to life the gods and goddesses, giants and dwarves, and warriors and monsters of these tales in Myths of the Norsemen. Ranging from the comic to the tragic, the myths tell of passion, love, friendship, pride, courage, and betrayal.
Paperback, 430 pages
Published January 20th 2007 by Barnes & Noble (first published 1909)
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Jael
A few years ago, I had bought this book from Barnes and Noble's online store. I didn't realize until I started reading it and looked at the info on its Goodreads page, this book is actually a reprint from 1909. If I had known that, I would not have bought it.

The book is largely summarizes different Gods and some of the popular Norse stories. However, I would not recommend this book to anybody interested in learning Norse Mythology (maybe if you wanted some nice illustrations).

I wouldn't recomm...more
Simsian
A pretty poor mesh of hodge-podge Norse mythology with improperly interlaced commentary. In all honesty, a detrimental treatment insofar as the author judges the stories against Christian mythology. Open to suggestions of a better treatment of Norse mythology. I have been quite interested since reading Halldor Laxness.
Becky
Despite its age, Guerber’s “Myths of the Norsemen” is one of my all time favorite works on northern legend. I have Norwegian heritage, and as a child always took to heart the stories of Thor, Loki, Odin and the Jotun. As an adult I love picking out Norse mythology in my favorite video games and TV shows- until you know it, you’ll never realize how constantly bombarded you are with it. I never grew out of my interests in mythology, and when I happened across this book in B&N I bought it with...more
Dave Holcomb
This is one of those books that pre-teen boys read back in the days when Arthur Conan Doyle and Nathaniel Hawthorne were on everybody's shelves. The author provides a considerable amount of scholarship in a fairly digestible style, rather like Edith Hamilton's take on the Greek and Roman myths. Guerber draws much of his material from primary sources, the Norse Eddas and Sagas, which gives this overview a strong sense of authenticity; he also offers a bit of context where appropriate, explaining...more
Kate
This is an unaltered edition of the original 1900s work, and it definitely shows in places. It also lacks the charm of Colum's Victorian era collection, which was also bowdlerized but was so delightfully written you just didn't care.

Also the poetry excerpts were just painful. I finally started skimming whenever I saw one.
Carlos Burga
Después de haber leído su libro sobre la mitología greco-romana y haberlo disfrutado inmensamente, fue una muy grata sorpresa descubrir que Guerber había escrito otro libro sobre la mitología nórdica y después de haberlo leído me imposible no recomendarlo. Guerber tiene un estilo excelente que hace que el lector pueda mantenerse concentrado, con la más grande facilidad, a través de generaciones de generaciones de dioses. De la misma forma, ella incluye en sus relatos no solo las historias como l...more
dragonhelmuk
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jen
At the end of the day...I still like Greek mythology better.

However, I decided I couldn't punitively rate the book based on personal preference. That would be like stiffing the wait staff because I wasn't fond of what I ordered. The book was well-written, thorough, and almost mind-numbingly detailed.

If you're looking for an intro class into Norse mythology--here you go.

The author goes through each god/goddess, tells stories of each, and explains the possible source of the myth. She also goes t...more
Catherine
I've always been a fantasy and mythology buff, so this is perfect for me. It recounts all the major players and the most famous tales, and then even goes into detail about the little-known tales. All is backed up with translated evidence from different original myth sources (usually poems), which are really cool to read in their originally-intended poetic language. There's even a section about how Norse and Greek myths compare. After reading this, I'm convinced that Norse myths trump the Greeks,...more
Natalie
What I love about mythology is that it reminds me how similar we all are. You can find similar themes in all creation stories. It makes me believe that there must be a common story. It seems too coincidental that all the storie are so closely related. Take Norse mythology, for instance, after Ragnarok, there are two humans that survived and come forth to start the world over. It totally sounds like Adam and Eve.

Norse mythology is harsh. It represents the land of the Vikings - which was also har...more
Morv
I would have to say that this book is a bit dated and missing out on certain things. Although it mainly looks at the main players of the Gods and Goddess' along with the tales of Giants and Dwarfs as well.

The interesting thing about this book would be more for people researching, and by this I do mean basic research, on the Norse Gods. My one problem with this is the Loki section where he is regarded as being 'evil' and yet he has done good as well, not to mention he is the balance for the gods,...more
Clayton
This is a very interesting survey of Norse mythology. It features descriptions of all of the major gods and races, and includes myths related to each. The book also discusses versions of the gods found in Germanic mythology and elsewhere, and includes some myths related to these as well. Overall I felt that I got a very well-rounded picture of these (if you really get down to it) nebulous characters.
I especially appreciated the inclusion of fragments of poems included in the various chapters to...more
Glennmatthew
not the only source of my ancestral culture, but by far one of the best. most of the christian influence is gone from this volume, and has been a staple of my belief system for well over a decade.
Michael
This is, by far, the most thorough and accessible book on Norse Mythology I have ever come across. Information on mythology concerning the northern countries (Denmark, Norway, Scandinavia and Iceland, mainly) is murky at best, compiled by whatever records surviving to today. As a lover of myth, I often found myself frustrated by the scarcity of deeper information concerning Norse Mythology. Ms. Guerber brings so much to your fingertips in this book. I highly recommend giving this book your time...more
Mark Neumayer
There are a lot of stories in this book, more than you would get from just picking up a copy of the Eddas. The only drawback is that it was written a long time ago and there are statements in here that have since been questioned, if not disproved.
There is frequent mention of "various sources" although we are never told the identity of those sources. It would have been nice to have a bibliography at the end of the book or footnotes of some sort to aid further research.
If you're just looking for...more
John
If ever you wanted to know the background to just about every known Norse Myth, then this is your book. So complete is this volume that along with "The Children of Odin" both are used extensively by video game developers as reference.
Dont try and read from cover to cover (at 620 pages it would be quite a read) but I do recommend having it on your coffee table and dipping in and out when you have just finished a book or are bored with telly or with what you're reading.
Sarah
A long overdue read for me. I was half-aware of most of these myths, but it was great to read them all in depth. Amazed again at the legacy of our Aryan roots. These tales are almost identical in many ways to their southern neighbors, the Greeks. But I really love the Northern explanations of their extreme environment. The myths of fire and ice, frost and dew, ice-locked earth being released by the coming of the sun. It's super great.
Andrew
An "Edith Hamilton" style summary of the various Norse gods, goddesses and the myths surrounding them. A little dry at times, but full of facts and tales of the Norse. I thought the section that compared the Greek gods with the Norse gods was stretched considerably in some places. Probably not a sit down and read book, but more of a reference book for someone studying Norse culture or reading Norse sagas or eddas.
Mark

I really enjoyed this in depth look at Norse mythology. All you wanted to know about Odin, Thor, Loki and all the other Norse gods and myths. For my full review, I wrote one back when I finished this book.

Myths of the Norsemen
Blue Caeruleus
The Norsemen created a fascinating mythology that bares a more human element than that of the Greeks. Thor's visit to Jotunheim is perhaps the best comedy in all of folklore. This book also presents some interesting information on the culture and history of the Norsemen and explains many of the ways that it has affected our modern western civilization.
Simon
"Loki, god of evil"? Really? Bye.
Harrison Long
This is a collection of many myths of the Norse people of long ago. It tells of many gods who face many other hardships to go through their lives. Every single one of these stories, however, detail a certain season or object and shows their connection to each other as the stories progress.
Jason Zimdars
Gave up on this one after the first chapter on Odin. I was looking for stories of Norse Mythologoy. This read more like a student's notes from a college course. There were details and descriptions and even some historical relevance –but no stories. ...more
Kate
Myths of the Norsemen could perhaps be better organized--you may wish to consider a paper version instead of an electronic one--but it is nonetheless an excellent and thorough overview of Norse mythology and its evolution.
Thom Sutton
Plenty of interesting stories related here, just a shame it's outdated and not so well researched. The whole final section comparing the Norse gods to the gods of ancient Greece is particularly tedious and half-assed.
Gina Long
Good and comprehensive history of Norse folklore. It gets a little tedious towards the end. The comparison of North mythology and Greek mythology is very interesting, but it does come at the very end of the book.
Eric
Dec 02, 2009 Eric rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People researching Norse mythology
Shelves: norse
A good deal of interesting information is hiding in the pages of Myths of the Norsemen, but it has the feel of a stale textbook, which made it impossible for me to read cover to cover.
Patrick
More scholarly than fun, this was regardless a very enjoyable and educational read. I'm even further convinced that all mythologies have the same roots.
Julie
Sep 02, 2012 Julie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/11375058
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Hélène Adeline Guerber (1859 – 1929), better known as H.A. Guerber, was a British historian most well known for her written histories of Germanic mythology.

Her most well known work is Myths of the Norsemen: From the Eddas and Sagas - George G. Harrap and Co. Ltd., 1908 in London.

Other histories by Guerber include Legends of the Rhine (A.S. Barnes & Co., New York, 1895; new edition 1905), Stori...more
More about H.A. Guerber...
The Myths of Greece and Rome The Story of the Greeks (Yesterday's Classics) Middle Ages Myths & Legends (Myths&Legends Series) The Story of the Romans Myths of Northern Lands

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