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Parents' Guide to

Norse Mythology

By Michael Berry, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Gaiman makes myths compelling, accessible to modern readers.

Book Neil Gaiman Fantasy 2017
Norse Mythology Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

Common sense missed a lot! Tons of violence and a sex scene

Common sense missed a lot on this one....there is one scene that says, "when they were finished with their lovemaking, they lay naked together in bed". They talk about what comes out of someone's a**. The violence is very extreme. Blood gushes frequently and heads are cut off routinely. Though it's approached with humor, mostly, it gets worse and worse as the book goes on. There are rivers, oceans of blood. One example that literally made me ill was talking about slitting someone's throat and his bowels came out. Then they do stuff with the entrails. Blood sprays routinely. I have 3 sons, ages 16, 13, and 11, and we had to stop listening because it was so disgusting and disturbing! I am really disappointed in common sense on this one. I understand that there are a lot of books to review, but there's no point in reviewing if you aren't going to be thorough.
age 14+

The Master Takes On Mythology Masterfully

Neil Gaiman is one of the best writers working today, and we LOVE that he took on Norse Mythology. There aren't too many great literary versions (in english) of the Norse myths, and yet so much of their content is woven through our Western world. Here, Gaiman the great storyteller brings all his skills to bear, breathing new life into ancient tales for his modern audience. As to the gore factor, all mythology is violent. Myths take on the big subjects of life, death, love, strength, weakness, power, loyalty, vengeance and justice. Mythological creation and destruction are not for the faint-hearted, yet they continue to resonate with us because they speak to our most profound and human concerns. Gaiman does a masterful job telling the old stories, and my teen son and I found this book enthralling, and entirely appropriate.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (8 ):

Anyone interested in world mythology is likely to be fascinated by this new version of ancient tales. Norse myths come from an oral tradition, so there are many missing tales and contradictory endings, but leave it to master fantasist Neil Gaiman to find a way to weave these surviving tales together with clarity and aplomb in Norse Mythology. Gaiman's prose is smooth and supple, with none of the stuffiness one might expect. He clearly delineates the characteristics of the main set of gods and presents the large supporting cast with a minimum of confusion.

Book Details

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