Adastra's Reviews > The Norse Myths

The Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland
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's review
Sep 24, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in September, 2005 — I own a copy

I've been looking for suggestions for a good book about Norse Mythology for some time, and I found this in the Bibliography of American Gods (and the Sandman) on Neil Gaiman's homepage. This book is exactly what I wanted - a retelling of the Eddaic Poems in normal text / story form, easy to understand. Kevin Crossley-Holland has retold 32 Myths from collected sources, and always used the most likely source for the main story, sometimes embellishing small details from other sources.

There are all the minor stories like the Adventures of Thor and Odin and Loki, and of course the important ones, like The Creation, The Mead of Poetry, Balder's Death, The Binding of Loki and the final Ragnarök. I think the Myths are retold very well, though there's still a lack of detail sometimes (which I assume has to do with the sources). Effectively it's just a collection of various stories that have to do with the same characters.

Another good thing about this book are the notes on each Myth. The author names the sources, sometimes quotes things he left out and suggests backgrounds and inspirations with other pantheons and beliefs.

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