James's Reviews > The Kalevala

The Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot
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's review
Nov 06, 2011

really liked it
Read from November 06 to 17, 2011

I think this is one of those books that needs a few reads with a few years between them. It reminds me of the Odyssey quite a bit, and there are some obvious parallels in the story. It's wrong to think of this as a derivative work, though. It may share some style and elements with it, but the Kalevala is uniquely Finnish. If you are the type of person who enjoys this type of work then don't miss out. There's more than enough unique material to keep your attention.

I can't say much with confidence after this first reading, but I will make note of the really interesting spirituality of the book. While there are many vaguely Christian notions (and a few overt ones), there is still an incredibly strong sense of the earlier pagan animism that is beautifully tied up in it. For that aspect alone I think this book is worthy of a lot of attention from those of you who are interested in comparative religion.

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