The days are getting shorted here in the Pacific NorthWest, but it’s still summer and we’ve got at least another good 6 weeks of warm weather before the rain begins to fall. Which means a few more trips to the rocky beaches where I can prop myself up against a drifted log and read a book while my kid chases crabs along the tide-line. My perfect beach book consists of casual writing style and tone, an easy to digest story, relatable characters, and drama that isn’t tooooo close to home. And Gaiman’s Norse Mythology fits all of these categories, making it a near perfect beach read.
The stories aren’t new, of course, but Gaiman shows us these flawed deities through a his modern lens of tone and casual style, refreshing Norse mythologies and making them much more relatable than the 1200 BC prose from which they are derived. We are taken from creation to the end of the old gods and goddesses days in a choppy yet easy to follow flow. Gaiman shows the gods and goddesses in their fallible existence–their vanity, fierceness, selfishness, mortality, crassness, manipulation, and often indifference to the trails of humankind.
The book isn’t a comprehensive tome on Norse mythology by any means, and the stories lean masculine. But it is a little trail of breadcrumbs, a window lovingly cracked open inviting us in to explore. It’s a great witchy beach read, and perhaps as the season’s change, and we settle into a time for darker, richer stories, it acts as an arrow pointing us to a hearth-side reading of the Poetic or Prose Edda during the winter months.