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Myths of the Norsemen: Retold from the Old Norse Poems and Tales (Puffin Classics) Paperback – November 1, 1994


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michelle Paver (www.michellepaver.com) is the bestselling, award-winning author of Dark Matter, the Chronicls of Ancient Darkness, and the upcoming Gods and Warriors series, among other books.

Roger Lancelyn Green (author) was a British author primarily known for his retellings of Greek and Egyptian myths, including Tales of the Greek Heroes, The Tales of Troy, and Tales of Ancient Egypt. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Puffin Classics
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (November 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140367381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140367386
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,101,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Roger Lancelyn Green was born in 1918 and lived in Oxford and at his family home in Cheshire, which the Greens had owned for more than 900 years. He loved storytelling and was fascinated by traditional fairy tales, myths and legends from around the world. He was a professional actor, a librarian and a teacher. His retellings include Egyptian, Greek and Norse legends, plus a retelling of Robin Hood. He also wrote many books for adults, including a biography of his friend C. S. Lewis, creator of the The Chronicles of Narnia. Roger Lancelyn Green died in 1987.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Philip Sokolov on September 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
Green is a great teller of tales, and here he definitely succeeds in bringing the ancient Norse Myths to life with vivid prose that is very faithful to his sources. This is one of those reads that is good for children (from about 4th Grade) and adults alike. The author's tone is not patronizing, but treats the reader and the subject matter seriously, and yet lightly and humorously when appropriate.
Green's novel--and it does read like a novel in its own right--is really good at introducing the reader to the world of Norse Myth, starting with the character of the Norse Men and going on to give an overview of the mythology, an introduction to all the gods, their foes, and their worlds, and straight retellings of all the famous tales... all in a narrative context.
I now prefer to read the "originals," but no doubt they would have been far too cryptic for me to read if I didn't have Green to hold my hand at first. I refer to the collection known as the Elder or Poetic Edda (0292764995), as well as the Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson (0520012321). For me, those two collections plus the Volsungasaga (0140447385) round out the "genuine" Norse mythology.
But as I said, I would definitely begin with Green. I have read other modern retellings, but if you can find this one, it is the best.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. E. P. Esq. on May 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book had been sitting unread in my library for many years. Recently, I decided to pick it up after getting more interested in the Norse myths after reading the Icelandic Sagas and listening to Wagner's 'Der Ring Des Nibelungen,' which was inspired by Norse mythology. This book supplies a collection of Norse myths, beginning with how the world was created, and ending with 'Ragnarok,' the popular myth about the last battle between the Gods and the Giants. I found myself enthralled throughout the book - that is until I reached the chapter regarding Sigurd. I have had some previous knowledge of this myth, but sought to learn more about it to learn more about Wagner's sources and inspirations when composing his mythological-based 'Ring' operas. Instead, I had found that the author used Wagner's Ring as a source for his chapter on Sigurd rather than the original sagas and myths. This made me question the authenticity of the other stories presented in the book. However, I think they all convey the general idea of what the Nordic people believed in, and think it a good synthesized collection of Norse mythology for those beginning to delve into the subject. It's also an ideal mythic book for younger audiences, as it has no explicit violence and has a simplistic and blunt writing style.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William Worley on March 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent introduction to Norse mythology for young readers. The individual myths are set down in a logical order so that the reader can understand the religious belief system of the ancient Norse people. I do not recommend this book to any adult who would enjoy a more in depth read on the subject; however, it would be a good read for an adult who just wants a quick and enjoyable overview of the subject.
I wish more children of European ancestry would embrace their heritage and read up on the myths of their folk. We can all learn a lot about who we are by studying the beliefs that are actually native to our respective peoples.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth A. Root on June 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Edith Hamilton commented in her book Mythology that unfortunately, no-one had ever woven together the Norse myths into a single epic, similar to the Iliad or the Odyssey. Roger Lancelyn Green has certainly do the best job of it so far. Many people have put together a book that selects among the variant myths, but no one else has ever put them together into such a readable and moving story. It is a great piece of literature in its own right, in addition to being a relatively simple telling of the myths.

Anyone wanting a more scholarly approach may want to find another book, such as The Mythology of All Races. EDDIC (The Mythology of All Races in Thirteen Volumes, Volume 2), by John Arnott MacCulloch; 'Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs by John Lindow; or Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by H.R. Ellis.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Myra VINE VOICE on August 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a fun book to read, and is perfect for introducing anyone to Norse mythology. It has all the basics, where you learn about the more important gods and their stories.

There isn't much violence in the book, because this is to tell the stories, not the epic battle sequences, but that doesn't mean only younger audiences can enjoy it. Norse mythology is very interesting, and Green hasn't lost that in his book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LadyStarbreaker on December 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for my little one's library we are building for him. Mythology is so interesting and really gives us a glimpse into the lives of our ancestors. This book has many myths and they are not watered down. Very nice edition for the money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Heather on December 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It gives you a very interesting glimpse into Norse Mythology by providing a story, instead of several different accounts with different gods. This travels in a single line from the birth of the Tree of Life to the Ragnarok.
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