Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Popular Tales from the Norse” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Popular Tales from the...
Peter Christen Asbjørnsen
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Popular Tales from the Norse

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  844 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Full of giants, trolls, heroes, and beautiful princesses, these 42 folktales include such favorites as "Temptations," "The Magician's Pupil," "Legend of Tannhäuser," "The Outlaw," "The Widow's Son," and "The Goatherd."
Hardcover, 3rd Edition, 372 pages
Published 1969 by Bodley Head (first published 1859)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Popular Tales from the Norse, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Popular Tales from the Norse

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  844 ratings  ·  28 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Popular Tales from the Norse
Mary Catelli
Translated from Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Engebretsen Moe's collection. You may have heard of this particular collection; J.R.R. Tolkien cites it in "On Fairy-Stories." And you definitely know one tale: "The Three Billy-Goats Gruff."

There are a lot more here. Has some animal tales, and some anecdotes of fools or knaves -- I particularly liked "Boots Who Made the Princess Say, 'That's A Story'", as the twist that makes her say it is clever. But there's "The Twelve Wild Ducks", which ha
Adam Fisher
Sep 27, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A good book, but it has very little to do with Norse mythology, and for that it gets a low rating for false advertising.

My real issue with this book is that the title is rather misleading. I hadn't gotten through perhaps four stories before it became very clear that these, while certainly stories, were much less so Norse, or even mythological.

There are only two stories into which Norse religion factors, one of these being a brief appearance of Odin, the other being the brief appearance of a valk
Apparently the old Norse used American $USD. Lots of "fairy tales" about good guys killing bad guys and winning a kingdom and princess and gold.

As for bad reviews/comments, The title says it all; it's popular tales from the Norse, not about the Norse. A lot of retellings and variants of tales found here and elsewhere. Has a few references of "Hamlet's Mill".

Can't recommend. The first quarter is the best... kind of drags on after that IMO, with multiple variants of the same stories. But the firs
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The tales in this book were not so much tales of Norse Mythology, but rather Scandinavian folktales. I liked the stories well enough and was interested to see how many of these tales resembled each other as well as some of Grimm’s Fairytales. I also thought that it was interesting that many of the stories probably did exist prior to the Christianization of the Norsemen, and how subtle changes were made in them to “de-paganize” them.

It is worth a read if you like this type of material, but don’t
Not really Norse at all, which was unfortunate as I was reading it to get into the right frame of mind before going to Norway. But I had a great time in Norway anyway.
But back to the book, the stories were a bit repetitive and had quite bizarre lessons to be learned. Not something to read to children before bed.
J.Aleksandr Wootton
This particular collection was more concerned with the sagas of kings and heroes than with anything "mythological" per se. I was hoping for many tales of the gods of Asgard, and did not get them. ...more
Cassandra White
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent source of folktales from the Norse area. One of the first translations of these tales into English.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty much every single tale follows the same storyline: a clever young man👨🏽 meets a troll/witch/giant👹 who is probably keeping a pretty girl prisoner👸🏼, and he slays the brute and marries the girl💏. It gets kind of old. 😖
Kate Hanssen
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read these Norwegian folk tales to my daughter on random nights. Had lots of laughs.
Some fun stories with princesses, knights, warriors, trolls, witches and hags... challenges, kingdoms to be won, riches to be claimed. Entertaining if not particularly what i was expecting.
Barb Middleton
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This work takes some of George Webbe Dasent's translation of P. C. Asbjoernsen and J. Moe's 1842 publication of Norse folk tales and presents it to modern readers. I am glad that I read Jack Zipes, "The Complete First Edition: The Original Folk & Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm," because the introduction does a better job explaining the times. The introduction in this book is only part of Dasent's and it doesn't put it in its historical context. I think an update or a comment from a scholar fr ...more
As a collection of fairy tales from antiquity I think it's fantastic. I love Norse mythology. This is the stuff of trolls, witches, princesses, glass balls, knights in armor, mysterious secret passageways, and the like. Fairies tales are magical. We can't argue with a fairy tale; if 'to look into a mirror' will get us trapped inside forever, well...that's that. It won't do us any good to complain about whether or not such a thing is possible; we just mind to obey.

There are some cultural cues in
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All the stories I heard at bedtime as a child! I giggled while reading the book as I remembered my father's voice imitating the trolls and other things that aren't supposed to talk.

The book starts out with a big introduction part, about history, origins of tales and comparing them to similar ones all over the world. And of course about mythology; I print screened the first page where Åsgård came up (it's my last name).

Then we have the main part, with all the Norwegian fairytales about trolls, ro
May 04, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not finished yet, but not sure if I will...

Giving 2 stars for bad editing and misleading title/cover/introduction. The title suggests that the content is going to be Norse Mythology, which is reinforced by the cover (Odin and Brunhilde), and the introduction goes on at length about the history of the Norse gods, influence by Christianity, recent collection of the stories about the gods in writing, etc. - but it's not. It's German and Scandinavian folk tales, think "brothers Grimm" not Heathens.

Dec 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, this was not mythology. It was Scandinavian folk tales. There's a big difference. Otherwise these stories weren't bad but they did start to get a bit repetitive. There were very similar elements in a lot of them which started to get a little boring. You could see some elements of more well known fairy tales later written by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen which I thought was interesting. ...more
After briefly checking out the back of the book, I thought "this is something right down my alley!"; This feeling only got confirmed by reading the rather long and interesting Introduction! But then it went downhill... 2 stars simply cos they are nice tales, folk tales. Imo it doesn´t even come close to mythology... VERY DISAPPOINTING! ...more
Dec 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for tales of Thor, Odin, frost giants &c, you won't find them here. You will, however, find charming fairy tales in which the youngest child always comes out ahead, the ogres always die, and beautiful princesses are rescued. ...more
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some of these are a hoot, but most are duplicates of fairy tales from other countries and cultures, which the editor goes into in excessive detail in the overlong introduction. Of interest only to explorers of comparative folk culture.
Jesse A
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very much a retread. Seen elsewhere but done better. Disappointing.
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful edition of some really good tales. Introductions to the tales would have been welcome, or at least some notes, but this doesn't detract at all from the stories themselves. Tons of fun. ...more
David Harding
Feb 03, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Both deceptive and repetitive.
Oct 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It was good, but had nothing to do with Norse myth. Infact, the end went into African myth. So the low star rating is for the very misleading title.
I actually read this last year but forgot to input it. It's not fresh in mind my so I cannot write a review. ...more
Ken Fredette
It was just ok as I read it. Everything is in three's. ...more
John Behnken
Oct 27, 2012 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
10/31: Introduction was 22% of the book and overly pedantic. That's a crime. Just starting on the actual stories now after several days of reading. ...more
rated it really liked it
May 02, 2015
rated it liked it
Feb 15, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Mar 22, 2015
christina l kolaskey
rated it really liked it
Mar 07, 2015
Wes Johnson
rated it really liked it
Mar 24, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Popular Tales From the Norse published earlier 2 15 Feb 02, 2015 11:38AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights
  • Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm
  • Felix Ever After
  • Irish Fairy and Folk Tales
  • Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World
  • Comfort & Joy
  • No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
  • Binging with Babish: 100 Recipes Recreated from Your Favorite Movies and TV Shows
  • Japanese Fairy Tales
  • The Plot Dot: An eight-step visual guide to plotting unforgettable fiction and writing a book readers love.
  • Find Layla
  • A Journal of the Plague Year
  • How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook Collection: 350+ Groundbreaking Recipes for All Your Favorites
  • Turbulent (Days of Want #1)
  • Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know
  • Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1)
  • Three Stories and Ten Poems
See similar books…
Peter Christen Asbjørnsen was a Norwegian writer and scholar. He and Jørgen Engebretsen Moe were collectors of Norwegian folklore. They were so closely united in their lives' work that their folk tale collections are commonly mentioned only as "Asbjørnsen and Moe". ...more

Related Articles

Thirty-four years after the publication of her dystopian classic, The Handmaid's Tale, Atwood returns to continue the story of Offred. We talked...
367 likes · 59 comments
“Is there anything more beautiful than gold?” - Freya's question.

Plain-thoughted Thor spoke. “A farm at first light
Is more beautiful than gold, or
A ship's sails in the mist.
Many ordinary things are far more beautiful.”
“It is said that true tricstkers can make trouble between two pans in a kitchen.” 0 likes
More quotes…