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I’m wondering if I should read “Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman.

April 7, 2017

Has anyone read “Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman? I saw an interview of him on the PBS News Hour several days ago. He talked about the book.. sounds really good.

I’ve included the brief interview in this post.. spoiler alert.. if you are completely unfamiliar with Norse Mythology, you don’t know how things end.. so I’d suggest not watching the clip, unless you have no intention of reading the book.

I’ve truly loved some of Gaiman’s books, especially “American Gods,” except for a few parts which I felt were unnecessarily graphic. Gaiman can be quite pervy and warped at times, most often in his comic book series called “Sandman.”

I’ve also dearly loved the novel he co-wrote with my favorite author, Terry Pratchett, called “Good Omens,” which is an amazingly good, funny, and sometimes dark re-telling of the Christian end-times. It definitely reads more like a Pratchett book than a Gaiman book.. but, in case you aren’t familiar with Pratchett, don’t let that discourage you. The book is awesome!

If you’ve seen the 1976 horror classic, “The Omen,” which is a movie about the early life of the Anti-Christ, then you’ll get more out of “Good Omens,” especially some of the humor in the book. Just to warn you, “The Omen” is NOT a comedy. Pretty heavy and gory sometimes, but one of the few horror films I’ve appreciated.

I also liked Gaiman’s “Neverwhere” a lot. “Anansi Boys” was good, but I was shocked to realize that it was NOT a sequel to “American Gods,” and was written in a rather different style than Gaiman tends to use. Actually, his style, in general, does not remain consistent. But that’s alright.

Gaiman’s third collection of short stories, entitled “Trigger Warning,” is a book I’ve not yet read. But, I have just learned there’s an “American Gods” story in it. I can get “Trigger Warning” from the library.

In my opinion, Gaiman is hit and miss. I tried three times to read his short novel, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.” Couldn’t manage. I thought it was so bad. Didn’t like his novel “Stardust” or some of his short stories either.

Gaiman is brilliant.. but his books are kind of like the Coen Brothers films, in that some are amazing, some are just ok, and some are terrible.

Amazon is selling “Norse Mythology” for less than $14 right now, and I’m having trouble not buying it.

I don’t feel like waiting for months to get the book from the library. There are 28 holds on it right now, and I would not have enough time to read it, since there’d be holds on it, and I would not be able to renew it.

I haven’t been reading much in quite awhile, except for emails, facebook posts, articles on Wikipedia, a few newspaper articles (in both the Idaho Statesman and the Wall Street Journal) and re-reading my favorite Discworld books by Terry Pratchett multiple times. But most of my life I’ve been a reader, and want to spend more time immersed in books.

I’ve been re-watching many of the Marvel movies, and episodes of my favorite show, “Community,” and I feel my eyes are starting to wear out.. just bought a copy of “Star Wars: Rogue One,” which I will watch many times, I’m sure, but, not tonight. I think reading is easier on my eyes.. I hope.

Tonight, I started to read the play, “Our Town.” Surprised it took me this long to get around to reading that classic (it won a Pulitzer Prize), but I’ve almost never been into reading plays.

I’ve got a pile of old John Steinbeck paperbacks in the shed. Been collecting those. I don’t tend to read Steinbeck lately though, because so many of his books are set in California.

Even after over 6 years of living in Idaho, I’m still quite homesick for the Central Valley, Motherlode, and Monterey Bay/Santa Cruz County regions of California. I don’t want to amplify that feeling. It’s mostly not pleasant to feel this way. Quite distracting.

So.. hmm.. well.. I figure I’ll likely get a copy of “Norse Mythology” eventually, if not soon, (I’m having some self-control issues, so I might order it tonight) but I’m hoping I can get some opinions on it first.. no spoilers please..


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