Real Men Read – Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
Thursday, December 19, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
NOTE: This month’s meeting is one week earlier than normal due to the Christmas holiday.
Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales.
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki―son of a giant―blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.
Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Once, when Thor’s hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman―difficult with his beard and huge appetite―to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir―the most sagacious of gods―is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.
Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerge these gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
Real Men Read is an open forum book discussion covering nonfiction books and fiction books that appeal to men…and even some women. Our tradition in Real Men Read is to stick with books that have a colon in the title, even if it’s fiction. All are invited! Discussions are generally on the fourth Thursday of each month unless otherwise noted. To have a book set aside for you, contact Dave Anderson at 859-781-6166.
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