Mike's Reviews > The Norse Myths

The Norse Myths by Heilan Yvette Grimes
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's review
May 08, 2011

really liked it
Recommended for: Anyone
Read from May 08 to June 09, 2011 — I own a copy

What can you say about a set of tales that purport to explain the formation of the multiverse, the earth, the gods, man, all manner of other beings, and the end of all things? Wow they didn't believe in half-measures in the Norse mythology.

Now, of course there is more to say about the tales - the first couple of chapters are dense with the details of the creation. I found it sort of hard to follow cooped up on an airplane and then reading in the 1/2 light of a restaurant while exhausted. It's the kind of section where a diagram or a scorecard might have been helpful. The later chapters are all specific tales about various gods, jotuns, humans and so on, so they have more of a narrative hold on your imagination. And of course, the end of all is pretty interesting!

since I have most been reading this book while traveling (I took it up again whilst winging my way across the Atlantic) I have only read it in fits and spurts. Not how I prefer to do things, but on my trip one month ago I ended up discussing it with one of the servers and now that I am done I am will be giving her my copy. I understand the the author has written at least one more follow one volume, which I will be looking for.

Now for a few negatives: this may be a "print-on-demand" book (which is curiously enough part of the industry I am currently working in.) I have nothing against the technique, philosophy, or the quality of the paper or binding. Where I do have an issue is the apparent lack of proofreading (or proofreading software.) Initially, I thought that perhaps the author meant to use different words in the description of the creation myth. As I read on I realized that they were just typos. Typos of incorrect words and spelling crop up in almost every chapter. I learned to just figure out what the correct word was and just continue, but it was a bit annoying.

That's it, since I can't read the original language I can't give you an assessment of the translation itself, but I do think that the author wrote the tales out in good, comprehensible English. As I wrote above, the first couple of chapters were pretty dense. Maybe a less accurate but more verbose approach to that part of the tale might make it sink in better. (That plus a figure or two, including family trees.)

The author appears to be in my local area and active in a number of fields - I'd certainly appreciate an opportunity to hear her speak on the topic.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Mike I took this to Wales (good form factor), but it's on hold while I read through several other borrowed books - I will get back to it!

message 2: by Eric (new)

Eric Hendrixson If you like this, you might look for The Poetic Edda, which was translated by Lee Hollander, among others. The Hollander version is the one I read.

Mike I took this up again as I returned to Wales on Sunday evening (Monday UK time). It's nice being in the more "tale" part of the tales!

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