- Series: The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Pantheon; Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library edition (July 12, 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780394748467
- ISBN-13: 978-0394748467
- ASIN: 0394748468
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Norse Myths (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library) Paperback – July 12, 1981
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“Kevin Crossley-Holland retells the Norse myths in clear, attractive prose . . . An excellent introduction, notes, and a glossary provide mythological and historical backgrounds and suggest parallels with myths in other parts of the world.”
–The Denver Post
From the Inside Flap
Drawing on a wide variety of sources, the author has re-created 32 classic Norse Myths that compete in power with Greek mythology.
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Top Customer Reviews
Kevin Crossley Holland’s “The Norse Myths” are a very readable collection of tales/myths from the land of the Norse. I picked this book up because I had limited exposure to “religions” and their myths other than the Judeo-Christian pathway. Watching the History channels “The Vikings probably spurred me on to do a bit more research and Crossley Holland appeared to be highly recommended. I did not read The Norse Myths for academic purposes, but looked at it more for exploration and entertainment.
To be entertained, one must be able to understand the material. Crossley Holland enables the casual reader to never miss a beat with a very readable and informative introduction, an extensive glossary of characters, notes for further reading that deal with each of the thirty two myths (important for those who might want to do further research, tie ins with myths of other cultures, and explanation of possible Christian influence on the myths), and a progression of myths that build and reinforce as one reads. Periodically a myth would serve as a “review” for what preceded, or recount what is necessary to become a good Norseman.
One can only imagine during the long, dark, northern winters, sitting around fires and stoves drinking mead and ale sharing these tales and myths with one another, perhaps with a tad of embellishment. An accomplished storyteller could have fun and entertain with the tales of the impulsive Thor and the shape-shifter Loki, the cast of Norse gods, giants and trolls. Crossley Holland presents an entertaining anthology of Norse myths that encompasses colorful characters and metaphorical beauty such as the wolves Skoll and Hati that chase the sun and moon across the skies to give us daylight and evening.
I used Crossley Holland’s “The Norse Myths” as bedtime reading. Most of the tales are shorter than five pages, which makes for easy reading and digestion of the material, and hopefully initiating pleasant dream sequences for the sleep that follows.
There are also notes on each myth at the back of the book. These notes really illuminate the different gods, their actions, and the possible symbolic meanings behind them. I also like how Holland was sort of sympathetic to Loki, who's too often cast as the Norse Satan and not attributed the same depth of character as other gods such as Odin or Thor.
Then come the stories which start with the creation of the world and it ends with the destruction of it. In all you get 32 stories, most of which deal with the god's interacting with humans, dwarves and their enemies the giants. The stories themselves are told very nicely and they never get dull. The only problem one might have is trying to pronounce some of the names.
After the stories he gives information on each story on which source he used and sometimes he had to use differnt sources or how he had to altar some things so that the stories didn't contridict each other. There is also an index and a glossary at the end.
I really enjoyed this book for the stories and the history behind them and I would highly reccomend it to anyone who has an interest in the norse myths, young or old.