OK, firstly, understand that I am heathen, specifically an Asatruar, and The Gospel of Loki is about gods with whom I have a relationship. This is myOK, firstly, understand that I am heathen, specifically an Asatruar, and The Gospel of Loki is about gods with whom I have a relationship. This is my religion the author of this yak-vomit is messing up. On to my review:
95% of the Marvel fan fiction on fanfiction.net gets the heathen gods more right than this, even the stuff written by 12 year olds who have only watched the Marvel movies and think Thor and Loki are actually brothers. The other 5% was written by non-native speakers of English high on gramma's medicine after marathon-watching black and white Kung Fu movies from the 1950s for five straight days with no sleep, eating nothing but popcorn.
I couldn't even finish reading this, it's that bad. I'm not going to say it's THE worst book about Loki I've ever tried to read, because at least it was published as fiction, and so the very worst one would have to be Bryan Wilton's Loki book because that pretends to be nonfiction.
I'll grant the author this, though: it's probably impossible to write a totally authentic, unbiased retelling of the heathen mythology. I know because that's what I'm trying to do with my novel in progress, and it's turned into a portrait of my subconscious and internalized childhood family dynamics. Snorri's version was also prismaticized through his personal lens of his Christian faith, and tried to turn Loki into a devil figure. So it is illustrative of how far Snorri's version was from the real experience of heathens who honor the gods to read some other version and realize how people filter the mythology through their own psychological needs. Don't read this one just for that purpose, though; the Marvel movies actually do it better. Their Loki is at least loveable, even with all the incorrect details. Everyone sees the gods through the filter of their own life and experiences.
That said, though, this author doesn't even try to get the mythology right. Just reading the list of characters from the Look Inside function shows that. She isn't even trying to get the cultural stuff right either. Only a couple of pages in, and we've got some really bad scholarship. Lokabrenna does not mean "gospel of Loki." Please. Gospel is the most Christian concept ever. No word in any heathen language would translate as gospel. (Even the Havamal, "sayings of the high one," doesn't actually translate as "gospel.") Lokabrenna is the name of a star, and it means either Loki's light or Loki's torch. Even 5 seconds with Google Translate gets you closer to a good translation than "gospel." I tried it. Language detected: Icelandic. Translation: Close Burn. Obviously Google Translate is using modern Icelandic, and the word is actually in Old Icelandic or Old Norse. That's still a better translation than what Harris came up with.
Also, trying to pass off rhymed poetry as being an "authorized version" of heathen mythology? Anyone who knows anything about the actual heathen culture knows the poetry was alliterative. I'm not even going to get into the content. My head would explode just trying to think about it.
Also, the Gospel of Loki has a whole lot of telling rather than showing. It's just not written very well. I can only assume the reason this tripe got published is because 1. the author wrote the book that the movie Chocolat is based on and 2. the publisher knows nothing about heathenry and does not care to. Read some fan fiction on the net, it's free and most of it is way better than this. Better still, read some actual mythology and folk tales, which are also free on the net.
Review by Erin Lale, author of Asatru For Beginners...more
The humorous and satirical short nonfiction of Ben Franklin is definitely a collection worth reading. Ignore the last part, titled The Dream, though.The humorous and satirical short nonfiction of Ben Franklin is definitely a collection worth reading. Ignore the last part, titled The Dream, though. It's pure unverified personal gnosis. It's literally a dream of the collection's editor, in which he supposedly has a conversation with the ghost of Franklin; it's quite clear it's really the author's subconscious talking.
The parts that are actually by Franklin are fascinating, though. Some of it is really funny, and some of it is applicable to today's politics, and some of it is so oddly different from today's politics that it really shows the reader how times have changed. Some of Franklin's satires are meant as political commentary and some of them are just funny stories with twist endings. I recommend that my friends read this book -- and fart proudly....more