Thursday, June 23, 2016

John Lindow's Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs: A Book Review

Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs is an academic text first and foremost. This is not Poetic Edda, you will not read wonderfully translated poetry (in full) but this text is a text first and foremost. Starting with a cultural introduction and then digging into the few recorded texts that comprise our modern mythological knowledge, author John Lindow paints an informative and detailed picture. The bulk of the book, the meat and potatoes, is a glossary of mythological terms. Piece by piece, character by character, term by term, Lindow breaks down Norse mythology. He digs it, presenting each version of a myth, detailing the lines that mention pertinent and minor characters alike, and he works to break down the kennings and the etymology of each name, custom, and term.

In the end, read this book if you want information, if you want to understand the culture and perspective of Norse myth. It is academic, know that going in, but relish the depth of information as you turn the pages.

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